Wes Welker and the Patriots are closing in on a multi-year contract that would allow Welker to finish his career in New England. An NFL source tells Mike Giardi that the two sides are hoping to have something finalized before the onset of free agency on March 12.

According to the source, the two sides have come to the understanding that they are far better with one another than without.

Unlike last year when Welker took what he called a "leap of faith" by accepting the team's franchise tender in the hopes that a long term deal would be worked out, this time the two sides are -- according to the source -- far more willing to compromise than at the same point last year.