Welker & contract length

When the Patriots signed receiver Wes Welker to a five-year contract worth between $18-21 million in 2007, Welker was 25 years old.

A five-year commitment worked for both sides -- Welker was getting some long-term security and the Patriots were securing a player in his prime years.

Welker ended up playing out all five years.

With Welker set to celebrate his 31st birthday on May 1, a five-year deal likely isn't in the cards this time around when looking at recent deals struck between the team and receivers at this stage of their career.

The two most recent of note:

1. Randy Moss, 2008 -- 3 years (average of $9 million per season). Moss was 30 at the time.

2. Chad Ochocinco, 2011 -- 3 years (average of $4 million per season). Ochocinco was 33 at the time.

This highlights the team's thinking that projecting receivers into their mid-30s is risky business.

It ties into Monday's Boston Globe report about the Patriots offering Welker a two-year deal worth an average of $8 million per season during the 2011 season.

YOUR TURN: How many years would you be comfortable extending Welker? Share your thoughts in the comments section of this blog entry.