There's been no movement toward a new contract between the Patriots and franchised wide receiver Wes Welker.
The $9.5 million tag has kept Welker off the free-agent market. Welker hasn't yet signed the tendered offer, hence, he is not under contract.
That last point is important as voluntary offseason workouts and minicamps approach.
If Welker doesn't sign the tender, he can't participate because he isn't under contract. If he does sign the tender, the Patriots have no urgency to provide him with the long-term deal he wants.
If he doesn't attend, he is not "holding out." He simply is refusing to agree to the franchise tag. And, even though there's a ton of attention devoted to offseason workouts these days because of interest in all things NFL, the early part of voluntary workouts is mostly weight training.
Welker, who works out in Florida, shouldn't be seen as "sending a message" to the team until there are full-squad workouts going on and he's not part of them.
Not that that should be ruled out, either.