Found March 05, 2012 on Boston's Bettah:
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Wes Welker recieved the franchise tag from the Patriots today

With a failure of sorts to come to a multi-year contract before Monday’s deadline to declare franchise players, the New England Patriots applied their franchise tag to Wes Welker.

It’s expected to be about $9.4 million but the key is that it prevents Wes Welker from hitting the open-market and allows them more time to come to terms with a multi-year contract.

Hopefully, the Patriots can come to a multi-year deal sooner rather than later. A $9.4 million cap hit is something the Patriots don’t really want right now as it just restricts their ability to go out and sign other players such as Mike Wallace or Brandon Loyld. Plus, it would be nice to know that Wes Welker will be around for the rest of his career. Sure, he is starting to advance in age – he turns 31 in May – but he is one of the smartest and hardest working players in the league, or what us Patriots’ fans call a “perfect Patriot”.

Hopefully, Wes Welker will be New England for years to come.

 

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