Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/4/13
The Patriots aren’t expected to use the franchise tag on Wes Welker this year, but that doesn’t mean they’re dragging their feet on a new deal with the team’s top wide receiver. While Welker is not a likely tag candidate, the Patriots reportedly want to sign him to a new deal sooner rather than later. As the tag deadline approaches at 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, with free agency opening next Tuesday, the sides are getting closer together, Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com reports. “Progress has been made on getting a new deal for Welker,” Curran reports. Curran also said that, if the Patriots use the tag, it will likely be for cornerback Aqib Talib or right tackle Sebastian Vollmer. The Patriots have about $25 million to spend under the $123.9 million cap.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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