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Wed, 01 Feb 2012 12:40 PM EST

Patriots’ wide receiver Wes Welker, whose contract ends right after Super Bowl XLVI, expounded he can’t see himself in a different uniform next season. Basketball scores

“I count on being back,” Welker asserted after the New England Patriots arrived for the Super Bowl. “I am not especially too concerned about that now. I’m entirely concentrated on this game and what we must do, but I plan on being back.”

Welker, who leads the NFL in receptions over the last 5 years (554), might not have much of a say in that call. If the sides can’t hammer out an extension by the beginning of the 2012 league year in March, the Patriots would likely put the franchise tag on the 30-year-old. The tag could restrict his capability to check the open market and basically ensure his return for no less than one more season. NFL scores

At a point when he is training for the Super Bowl, Welker stiff-armed any more talk of his future.

“This is all things that we will address at another level,” he said. “It could be a story after the season is finished, but at this time, we are just focusing on this game and what we must do to win this game. If you win this game, all of that other stuff looks after itself.”

Welker is making a little more than $2 million in the last season of a 5-year, $18 million contract which has been one of the biggest bargains in the NFL. By any measure, Welker is in line for a raise.

Last week, proprietor Robert Kraft claimed it was his desire the parts could achieve an agreement.

“I consider Wes wants to be here and we want him here,” Kraft remarked. “Hopefully when the season ends, both parts will be wise adequate to consummate anything. He’s fairly special. Any time there is a player on this team I’ll look eye to eye and be at the same point, he is a crucial guy.”

Coach Bill Belichick also talked about what Welker, who had 122 receptions this season (one short of matching his career high), means to the New England Patriots.

“The full Wes Welker issue started when he was in Miami Dolphins,” Belichick claimed. “He was a very frustrating player to teach in opposition to because we truly could not handle him. He caught passes, he returned kicks, and then when (Olindo) Mare got hurt he went in and kicked extra points and field targets and kicked off against us, and that was annoying, too.

“We doubled him; we played him in a large amount of different mixtures. He was always the guy that we were making an attempt to game plan for. When we had an opportunity to trade for him, we did that, and felt like he’d be a very good inclusion to our team. And he has been.

“We have just as much trouble covering him in practice, and Tom (Brady) has equally as much confidence throwing to him as the quarterbacks in Miami Dolphins did when we were attempting to defend him. We don’t defend him any better in practice probably than we probably did trying to protect him when he was at the Dolphins.”

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