Blog Entry

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

Posted on: February 25, 2012 7:17 pm
Welkers will reportedly get the franchise tag from New England. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We've mentioned Wes Welker's name several times over the past few weeks. Once as our pick for the top available free-agent wide receiver and previously as a player on whom the franchise tag would probably be used.

And that appears to be the case: according to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Patriots "are likely" to utilize the franchise tag and place it on Welker before the March 5 deadline, in order to prevent Welker from hitting the open market. If Welker signed his tender, he would receive a guaranteed, one-year salary of $9.5 million.

There was some belief that the Patriots wouldn't commit that much cash in guaranteed money to Welker and would let him test the market and then attempt to re-sign him at a lower rate than what Welker reportedly wants (it's believed he wants to be paid somewhere in the range of $14 to $15 million per year).

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reported on Saturday that the logic behind the Patriots change of heart is that the market for Welker in free agency would be "incredibly active."

The last time New England used the franchise tag, things did not go smoothly. Logan Mankins, one of the defendants in the Lockout Lawsuit, held out for seven games after the labor crisis was resolved.

And there's a chance that a similar stand-off could occur with Welker if the two sides don't reach a long-term deal. Welker's critical to the Patriots offense -- he has 554 receptions and 6,105 receiving yards since 2007 -- but he would also like to be paid like one of the top wideouts in the game and given his age and previous injury history, the security of one more big contract.

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Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:28 am

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

Welker's value is that he is similar to Howard Twilly of another age.  He runs disciplined routes and makes the catch in tough circumstances, especially over the middle.  The fact that he has been used so much as a punt returned speaks to the dependability of his willingness to catch the ball knwing that he is likely to get hit.   If you haven't heard of Welker until this season, then you must not be much of a fan.  His pass -catching numbers would be VERY hard to miss.  I'm willing to bet that this all works out in the end and that while the Patriots need a deep threat, they won't risk losing their one dependable receiver to get one.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:21 am

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

i would be surprised if anybody else would give this guy 6000000 a year. Welker was a special teams guy in Miami. Brady made this guy and he should think about that. The Patroits would be better served going and getting a deep threat than locking up welker to big money. I can't believe the Pats would even bother to tag him.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:04 am

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

Vitamin, i agree with you that Welker is a little overrated but i disagree that anyone can do his job.  Troy Brown was the slot wideout before him for a long time and he never put up the numbers that Wes Welker did. Now, does wes deserve a nice final contract?  Absolutely, but does he deserve 14-15mil a yr?  Absolutely NOT!  

He is not Larry Fitzgerald, he is a good possession reciever who can constantly get you first downs and good yards after the catch but he is not nor has he ever really been the Randy Moss deep threat the patriots needed to win it all.  Branch used to be that but he's older and past his prime so the Patriots need to get a deep threat in free agency.

The Patriots should franchise tag welker for one year, give Edelman a bigger and bigger role and sign someone like Brandon Lloyd in free agency, remember Josh Mcdaniels is Brandon's old coach and he's stated he would love to work with him again.

I agree with the poster on the bottom who said Welker would fade or get hurt in someone else's system only so much as to say if they didnt use him in the slot.  Without Brady and without his slot position i dont think he would have the same level of success.

Still, he is a great guy to move the chains and get first downs. I hope he comes back for one more shot at a ring.

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:28 am

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

I know this might not be popular, but I honestly think Wes Welker is one of the most overrated players in the history of the NFL. Dude is just a regular receiver who happens to play in New England with one of the best QB's to ever play the game. He operates almost exclusively out of the slot so he is always working on LB's and #3 corners. Brady has an awesome offensive line so he always gets eternity to manuver underneath and find holes in coverage. I do not think this guy is an elite receiver and I think if he want somewhere else, with a less amazing quarterback, he would quickly fade.

To support my argument, I encourage everyone to look at Julian Edelman's numbers when Welker has been out with injury. In 2009 Welker missed game 2 against the Jets. Edelman led all receivers with 8 catches for 98 yards. Welker tore his ACL against Houston, Edelman had 10 catches for 103. In the playoff game (which I concede was a blowout loss) Edelman scored the Patriots only two touchdowns. My position is that any competent NFL receiver (or even Julian Edelman) could do what Welker is doing and most could do more if put in the same situation. Nate Burelson would dominate if he were Brady's slot receiver. Also Welker blew the Super Bowl with his drop in the seam. That is all. 

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:10 am

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

I have never heard of Wes Welker before. All the hype surrounding Welker throughout the playoffs made me think that he was one the NFL's overrated tight ends...but alas, he is just a lowly wide hoo for you! Wlker and Mike Wallace consider themseles to be the top receivers in the free agent market and yet their teams fild towin the Super Bowl. 

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:13 am

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

I cannot believe Wes Welker would stop being a team first player and go for the money, instead of taking less to be with a perennial Champion and a QB that has made him what he is.  Hate to say it, but if he want 14-15 million a year, it is time to look for his replacement in the draft and sign a couple of deep threats in Free Agency.  I am truly shocked at his stance, if what is written is correct.

Since: Sep 6, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2012 10:42 pm

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

What a loser.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2012 8:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: February 25, 2012 7:29 pm

Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

I personally love Welker, and think he is tough guy.  But, I do not think he would thrive in a traditional down the field role like most teams would utilize him.  Welker catches quick hitches/ receiver screens and runs for yards after catch.  If he was running 15 yard square- ins, he would get killed.  He is perfect for the Patriots, and Brady's passing scheme.  But if another team wanted to give Welker 9-10 million to run traditional routes, then I think they would be making a mistake... He would not last. 

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