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Wes Welker plans return to Patriots

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US Presswire

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker has only one more game to play before he becomes a free agent, but Pats fans shouldn't start worrying just yet.

NESN reports that Welker is saying that he aims to return to the Patriots' roster next season: "I plan on being back," Welker said, the site reports. "I'm not really too worried about that right now. I'm fully concentrated on this game and what we have to do, but I plan on being back."

The site notes that Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently said that he would like Welker to be back next season: "I think Wes wants to be here, and we want him here," Kraft said in late January, the site notes. "Hopefully when the season ends, both sides will be wise enough to consummate something. He's pretty special. Anytime there's a player on this team I can look eye to eye and be at the same level, he's an important guy."

The 30-year-old Welker, a four-time Pro Bowler who went undrafted in 2004 out of Texas Tech, has been with the team since 2007 and led the AFC in receiving yards this past season with 1,569. He also has led the NFL in receptions three times in the last five seasons, including in 2011 when he had 122. Nine of those were for touchdowns.

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