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Patriots WR Wes Welker plans to stay with team

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker said Sunday that he plans to return to the team even though he will be a free agent after the season, according to NESN.com.

"I plan on being back," Welker said, according to the report. "I'm not really too worried about that right now. I'm fully concentrated on this game and what we have to do, but I plan on being back."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft also seemed confident that Welker would return to the team.

"I think Wes wants to be here, and we want him here," Kraft said Jan. 20. "Hopefully when the season ends, both sides will be wise enough to consummate something. He's pretty special. Anytime there's a player on this team I can look eye to eye and be at the same level, he's an important guy."

Welker, 30, has become a favorite target of quarterback Tom Brady. In 2011 he finished with 122 catches and nine touchdowns.

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