Even though the sides didn't make a ton of progress leading up to free agency, Wes Welker coming back to the Patriots was a fait accompli. Or it was supposed to be anyway -- now it appears as if the sides are much further apart than we could've imagined.
According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, the two sides are actually "not in a happy place," are "miles apart" and have "moved on."
These are scary terms for Patriots fans, most of whom believed, from the moment superstar quarterback Tom Brady took a (relative to the salary cap) pay cut, that Welker and the Patriots would work something out.
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But Guregian reports the Pats "haven't provided what can be construed as a serious offer" to Welker. In other words, they're not even talking to him.
The Patriots aren't known for their soft and cuddly negotiating tactics, of course. Maybe they're willing to let Welker find whatever he can in the market and assume he comes crawling back to New England because it's the most comfortable place.
Maybe he will. But there are three other AFC teams that made the playoffs in 2012 out there -- the Texans, Broncos and Colts -- that would, I'd think, all improve their roster by adding Welker at a cost that wasn't too substantial.
We'll see how it unfolds and it's possible all this ends amicably. But it's also possible -- and looking more likely now -- that the two sides have managed to push a wedge between them that's created too much of a gap to bridge.
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