Wes Welker: Patriots Place Franchise Tag on Superstar Receiver
UPDATE: Monday, March 5th, 3:25 p.m. ET
It is now official.
Tom E. Curran of CSNNE reports the Patriots have indeed placed the franchise tag on Wes Welker. The report states the following.
Tom E. Curran reports that sources confirm the Patriots, as expected, have placed the franchise tag on Wes Welker.
It's not yet known if the franchise tag is exclusive or non-exclusive.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported via Twitter that Wes Welker will indeed be franchised tagged by the Patriots in a move that provides little to no shock for football fans.
The Patriots will place their franchise tag on wide receiver Wes Welker by today's 4 pm deadline.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2012
The Patriots needed to make a decision by the 4 p.m. ET deadline to franchise tag a player ahead of the free-agency period.
Welker has been indispensable for the Patriots and is that rare player that blends perfectly into the team's schemes and offensive sensibilities.
The 30-year-old superstar was again one of the more prolific receivers in the game last season, leading the NFL with 122 receptions.
Not that this has lead the discussion on Welker and whether he would remain a Patriots player.
What many have decided to concentrate upon this offseason is a key drop made in the Super Bowl. Welker hasn't been able to fully distance himself from a pass from Tom Brady in the Super Bowl last month.
Was this a great move by the Patriots?
On 2nd-and-11, with 4:06 left and the Patriots up 17-15, Welker dropped a ball that he normally brings in and that would have gone a long way to put away the Giants.
The Patriots have made the right decision in looking past that drop and realizing that these games do not come down to one moment or a lone misstep.
Welker has been a valuable part of this team as a leader in the locker room, as well as a consistent performer on the field.
As ESPN notes, Welker's 554 receptions since 2007 leads the NFL. He may be getting up there in years, but he is no doubt a pivotal part that this team could not be without.
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