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Rapid reaction: Welker & Bronco talks

Will Peyton Manning be throwing Wes Welker passes going forward? AP Photo, Getty Images

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter tweets that the Broncos are in serious talks with Patriots receiver Wes Welker and "trying to hammer out an agreement" with a "decision expected today."

The initial reaction?

Welker's camp has generated a market elsewhere -- which was the key -- and the Patriots are now at the greatest risk of losing the NFL's most productive receiver since 2007. It would be a big blow for the Patriots not just to lose Welker but also to see him go to one of their top competitors in the AFC.

The Patriots rolled the dice with Welker, taking an approach in which the market would ultimately dictate his value. At this point, it looks like it could backfire on them.

Maybe these talks with the Broncos produce some movement from the Patriots and the sides can come to a resolution, but if talks with Welker and the Broncos intensify and produce an agreement, the Patriots will have to answer some tough questions from their fan base.

After all, it was just two days ago that owner Robert Kraft said that he hoped Welker would retire as a Patriot, and it's a few weeks after restructuring Tom Brady's contract to create more flexibility to build the best team around him.

Now the Patriots are looking at the growing possibility he could be catching passes from Peyton Manning instead of Brady.