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Report: Wes Welker has 'mild disdain' toward Patriots

There are solid reasons to believe the New England Patriots will bring back wide receiver Wes Welker on a long-term deal. But some obstacles remain.

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Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports writes that Welker retains "somewhat mild disdain" for the team because of Welker's usage to start last year. Welker received fewer snaps and targets to open the season than usual, with Julian Edelman playing ahead of him in two-receiver sets. Cole writes that "tweaking" stuck in Welker's craw last year. He wonders how much he would have played had Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez not both been hurt during the season.

Ultimately, it's hard to imagine any of this mattering. It's a money thing. A report from Comcast SportsNet New England on Tuesday indicates that Welker and the Patriots are closing in on a deal because the two sides know they are better together than apart.

Cole points out that Welker takes a big risk leaving New England because it might be harder to get to the end of a three-year deal when Tom Brady is not throwing Welker those option routes, and Welker has to live up to a big contract on another team. The supposed total value of a deal matters less than your actual chances of earning that money.

Welker knows he fits in New England. To this point, his agents and the Patriots have avoided some of the ugly public back-and-forth that characterized last year's standoff. With Brandon Lloyd's future very uncertain, the Patriots need wideouts. Welker and the Patriots need each other.

This is a marriage that makes too much sense not to continue -- unless Welker's camp chooses to leak stories about his "mild disdain" about the team with whom he's negotiating.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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