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Patriots’ Wes Welker Plans to Test Free Agency Market, ESPN Says

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March 6 (Bloomberg) -- New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker plans to test free agency before deciding whether to re-sign with the team, ESPN reported.

Welker, an unrestricted free agent and two-time All-Pro who’s played his last six National Football League seasons with the Patriots, has no plans to re-sign until after free agency begins on March 12, ESPN said, citing an unidentified person in the league.

The 31-year-old Welker made $9.5 million last season after being given the Patriots’ franchise tag and would have received a 20 percent raise if franchised again, which New England opted not to do, according to the website.

Welker had 118 catches for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns as the Patriots went 12-4 during the 2012 regular season before falling to the Baltimore Ravens in the American Football Conference championship game. He had eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown in that game.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady extended his own contract last month in a move that improved the team’s flexibility to sign players such as Welker.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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