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Wes Welker, Patriots 'close' on multi-year contract

The New England Patriots are close to re-signing perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Wes Welker to a multi-year deal.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Wes Welker and the New England Patriots are nearing an agreement on a multi-year contract that they hope to finish before the start of free agency on March 12, according to Mike Giardi of Comcast SportsNet New England. Welker has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the last five seasons as a Patriot and the two sides are aware of how good a fit they are for one another.

Last offseason the Patriots used the franchise tag on Welker, but this year the Patriots opted not to use the tag and appear close to reaching a long-term deal that could keep Welker in New England for the rest of his career. Despite not beginning the season as a starter in 2012, Welker still ended up with 118 receptions for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns, earning yet another Pro Bowl selection.

The lack of a long-term deal last offseason, the label of a slot receiver, and the demotion to start the 2012 season left some thinking Welker may walk this offseason, but it appears the two sides are on the same page and should come to terms on a new deal in the near future.

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