Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/10/12

Wes Welker really found a home in New England as the go to guy for Tom Brady. He has put up phenomenal numbers as a slot receiver in a prolific offense. He has 9 years in the league, but didn't really take off until coming to New England from Miami.Since 2007 has posted 5 out of 6 seasons at 1,000 plus yards, his best performance coming in 2009 where he exceeded 1300 yards receiving. Even alongside Randy Moss, he managed to catch 112 balls for 1175 yards. Along with Brady, he is sure to be a first ballot HOFer.But 2012 has brought some controversy to one who has not only blown the doors off the competition, but also overcame major knee surgery, to resume, in stride, his prolific career. With his contract expiring, Welker hoped to ink an extension that would make him a Patriot until his mid 30s, letting him retire in the same place he left his indelible mark.That extension never happened, and the organization dubbed him their franchise player, actually increasing his salary for a single season commitment.

And the Patriots could repeat that move again, securing his talents for just one more year, while hedging against any loss in performance over that period.At 32 years of age, Wes might be inclined to think that he can easily perform at the same level. I for one agree. But no one knows what Patriot management thinks. Receivers do tend to lose a step as they move through their 30s.

So, where will Welker land in 2013?My bet is with the New England Patriots.Sure, Miami would love to squeeze the last few ounces of production from "the one that got away". And many teams could benefit from a receiver with his skills, even if the production starts to wane. Can you imagine the immediate improvement for teams like Indianapolis or the New York Jets, or all those sub-500 teams like KC?But Wes will want to play for a contender; and who better than the team that has buttered his bread for the past 6 seasons? He wants to play in New England. It's the best for him and the organization to lock him in through his 35th birthday. With another 100 catch and 1000 yards season, it is truly win-win and would make all of Patriot Nation happy.

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