If you've been losing sleep regarding the potential departure from New England of one Wes Welker, there may be a silver lining to the bad dream cloud that's keeping you awake.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Patriots may be planning to avoid another tag or the prospect of losing Welker altogether, in the form of a contract extension.

Tracking Tim Tebow trade noise, Wes Welker chatter, other buzz - NFL.com

Easily the most productive NFL receiver over the past several years, he's a first-down machine. He's also, however, a slot receiver, and he's a little older, making it tougher for him to be paid like an elite pass-catcher. The Patriots won't apply the franchise tag to him, we know that. And yet ... Albert Breer and I have both heard that we can't rule out a long-term extension being reached before Welker hits free agency. The door is still open for him to get his money and retire a Patriot. What would a deal look like? In my mind -- just trying to gain an understanding of the market -- if Welker can get a five-year deal worth more than $8 million per year, that'd be impressive. It just makes too much sense for both sides to get something done. If you have the best slot receiver in the game, and he's also one of Tom Brady's best weapons, how can you let him leave?