Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Welker, Hartline close to return to Patriots, Dolphins


The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins were set to lose their top receivers from 2012. But things took on a different look Tuesday.

Shortly after FoxSports' Alex Marvez reported the Dolphins were "close to finalizing a deal" with impending free agent Brian Hartline, CSNNE's Mike Giardi reported the Patriots were "closing in" on a multi-year contract with their own soon-to-be free agent Wes Welker. (photo: photo-gator, Flickr)

Varying reports on Welker's situation had been spewing from the Boston and national media over the past two days, so if anything, at least it seemed as if there was some activity going on.

Welker has eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in five of the past six seasons for New England. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently extended and restructured his contract to clear up some cap room, so New England is poised to pay him back by returning his best target.

As for Hartline, the Dolphins' most productive wideout as of late is reportedly poised to make $6 million to $6.5 million a year in South Beach. Hartline is coming off his best season, when he amassed 1,083 yards on 74 catches.

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