Yet, despite the drama surrounding his standoff with the Patriots, expect him back in New England.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald relayed from a source on Sunday that "if Welker cannot return to New England with a good contract, he’d love nothing more than to stick it to the Patriots for not retaining him."
The key words here for me are "good contract." Welker and his agent will undoubtedly attempt to seek a contract reflecting the slot receiver's numbers throughout the years, but I don't know if he's going to bounce for Miami if he receives a little more money from the Dolphins.
Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe wrote last Thursday:
The overwhelming sentiment, from sources on both sides of the Welker situation, is he will be back with the Patriots. It’s not a matter of if, but when. What you are seeing now is part of the process.
And it is, indeed, "part of the process." This is what happens in negotiations. A player and his agent or "sources" attempt to boost said player's stock. But when Welker and company realize the Patriots value him enough to give him a "good contract," that should be enough to keep him in Foxborough.
Keep in mind, the Dolphins may not have enough money to make Welker drool, anyway. They are reportedly the favorite to land Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Mike Wallace (via ESPN's Adam Schefter), who will undoubtedly cost a lot of money.
And while Welker wants to get paid, he also wants to be on a championship contender. He turns 32 years old in May and has yet to win a Super Bowl despite making it to the big game twice in his career.
The five-time Pro Bowler's spat with the Patriots notwithstanding, expect him to remain in Foxborough whether he re-signs before or during the NFL's free-agency period.