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Wes Welker, New England Patriots not near contract

A new report on Wes Welker pops up every day.

One says that "progress" is being made toward a new contract. Another says Welker has "mild disdain" for the New England Patriots after how he perceived he was treated last year. One outlet says a deal is close, while another says Welker plans to test free agency.

So what's it all mean?

It's silly season with free agency approaching. There are a lot of leverage games being played through the media. The reality is that Welker is set to hit free agency. Things might change. The latest report on Welker being set to test free agency sounds like a response from Welker's camp to the Tuesday report that a deal was close.

"While there was optimism a week ago on a deal between Welker and Patriots, sides have never been 'close' to a deal," Ian Rapoport tells us. "As in, on the brink of signing it."

There is optimism the sides can find common ground. If not, Rapoport notes that Danny Amendola is a backup plan for the Patriots. Welker is set to test the market, but every prospective free agent is set to test the market. The Patriots still have six days to prevent that from happening, and we believe Welker is likely to stay in Foxborough when it's all said and done.

The market for Welker is not going to come close to a top-tier receiver like Kansas City Chiefs star Dwayne Bowe. Welker might realize his best deal is to stay put.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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