Wes Welker and the Patriots are only contractually committed to one another for a few more days, and it’s still a mystery how they’ll unfold.

Nothing has really changed in the negotiating process the last couple days, and nothing is imminent.

However, it’s unrealistic to think Welker has firmly decided to test free agency, which has been reported. First, Welker wants to remain with the Patriots, and he has thrived with the high-octane offense, catching more passes from quarterback Tom Brady than any other player. So, because of that, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect Welker to re-sign if they reach the offer he covets, whatever that may be.

But Welker isn’t the Patriots’ only key contributor set to hit the open market, so the front office has some work to do in the coming days. They have $25 million in cap room and the freedom to spend how they please, and Welker is one of six players the Pats might try to retain, though time is running out.

The NFL will open its first ever legal tampering period at 12 a.m. Saturday, which gives teams the means to negotiate with agents before free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Contracts can’t be signed, but numbers can be exchanged and the market can be weighed.