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What's next for Pats and Welker?

Door still open for a future long-term pact, but both will have other options

Updated: July 16, 2012, 7:59 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

The New England Patriots and receiver Wes Welker didn't reach a contract extension by Monday's 4 p.m. ET deadline for franchise-tagged players. That means Welker will play the 2012 season on a one-year, $9.5 million deal, leading to the question: What happens after that?

1. Plays out 2012 and plays under franchise tag again in 2013. The Patriots still retain some leverage in their talks with Welker, as they could once again assign him the franchise tag in 2013. The tag next year would be ...

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