View Full Version : Patriots Place the Franchise Tag On Welker

03-05-2012, 10:40 PM
The Patriots headed into this offseason with a lot of questions, but
it appears they’ve at least temporarily answered one of them after
placing the franchise tag on veteran receiver Wes Welker Monday
<table width="200" align="RIGHT" border="0" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0">
<font size="-2">The Pats have placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Wes Welker. (FILE:Icon/SMI)</font>

The team issued a release a little while ago announcing the move,
which ensures that Welker will be a Patriot for at least next season.
It also guarantees him at least $9.4 million for the 2012 season. One
would have to believe that they’ll figure out a way to give him a
long-term deal, and if history is any indication fans have reason to be

In each of the last two seasons, New England has used the tag to buy
more time in contract talks with two important players, and both had
happy endings. Vince Wilfork (2010) and Logan Mankins (2011) were
tagged by the Patriots, but the good news was that despite the fact both
players initially had issues with the designations,the Patriots
eventually worked out extensions with each player.</p>

The release pointed out that “the goal” remains to lock Welker up (http://www.patriots.com/news/article-1/Patriots-Name-WR-Wes-Welker-as-2012-Franchise-Player/7b9a599b-be0b-4c11-85e4-9e06dbbd0257) with a new deal.</p>

“Wes Welker is a remarkable football player for our team and has been
a vital component to our offense and special teams since we traded for
him in 2007. Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more
time to try to reach an agreement, which is the goal. Wes remains a
contractual priority and we are hopeful that he will remain a Patriot
for years to come.”</p>

One interesting note is the fact that it doesn’t appear that the
Patriots want Welker talking to other teams, much like they didn’t with
Mankins. With Wilfork he was tendered with a non-exclusive designation (http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4675198/source-wilfork-gets-non-exclusive-tag),
which meant that other teams could have hosted Wilfork on a free-agent
visit and potentially sign him to an offer sheet. Had Wilfork received
an offer and the Patriots not to matched it, they would have received
two first-round draft choices.</p>

According to ESPNBoston.com Welker has spoken to head coach Bill
Belichick about the move but no other details are currently available.

<a href="http://www.patsfans.com/ian/blog/2012/03/05/patriots-place-the-franchise-tag-on-welker/">http://www.patsfans.com/ian/blog/2012/03/05/patriots-place-the-franchise-tag-on-welker/


Flip Empty
03-05-2012, 11:43 PM
No surprise with this one. Welker is too important to that team. Brady would've been pissed if he'd been allowed to walk.