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Wes Welker appears set to test free agency

Wes Welker

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) plays against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)


Despite some talk that the Patriots and receiver Wes Welker were trying to work out an agreement on a long-term contract before Welker becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 12, that doesn’t appear likely to happen.

Multiple reports surfaced on Wednesday morning that Welker was going to hit the market, with Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reporting that nothing is imminent between the Patriots and Welker, and Adam Schefter of ESPN reporting that Welker has no plans to re-sign with New England before free agency starts.

It’s not surprising that Welker would want to find out what he’s worth on the open market, especially given that he reportedly has some trust issues with the Patriots. At the very least, Welker would be wise to wait until Saturday, when the “legal tampering” window opens, to see what kind of deal might be out there for him.

That doesn’t mean he won’t end up staying: He’s probably a better fit in the Patriots’ offense than he is anywhere else. But he appears ready to at least find out if some other team thinks he can be more valuable elsewhere than he is in New England.