By Eric Schmidt

In a sudden and unexpected move, the New England Patriots extended the contract of quarterback Tom Brady on Monday for a reported three years, $27 million dollars. This move clears up $15 million dollars of cap room for the team and it appears that the Patriots are in talks with WR Wes Welker. The Boston Herald reports that the Brady move had nothing to do with the talks between the team and Brady.

Welker, who played under the franchise tag in 2012, is unlikely to be franchised again this season but is scheduled to become a free agent in less than three weeks.

New England has a history of not overpaying veteran players, but in this case, perhaps the team should make an exception. As the Herald reports, since 2007, Welker has 80 more receptions than any other receiver in the league. He knows Tom Brady better than any receiver on the team and is the perfect fit for the Patriots offense.

Both sides should make a concession here. Welker might get a more lucrative deal with another team but will his numbers stay at the elevated levels they are while as a member of the Patriots? The Patriots should look at the bevy of veteran receivers they brought in this season and then look at the lack of production from them.

I say three years, $24 million, 11 million guaranteed.

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