ESPN's "NFL Live" crew, with analysts Mark Schlereth and Jerry Rice, discuss why the Patriots are likely to assign the franchise tag to receiver Wes Welker if the sides can't reach a long-term deal.
"When you talk about the New England Patriots, you talk about controlling the real estate in the middle of the field and Wes Welker out of the slot, in the middle of the field, there is none better right now in the National Football League. He is vital to that offense," Schlereth said.
Added Rice: "He brings a dimension to the game where safeties and linebackers can not cover this guy one on one. I'm sure they're going to put the franchise tag on him."