ESPN's NFL Live talked about franchise-tag players on a segment of Monday's show, with analysts Tim Hasselbeck and Hugh Douglas asked the following question: Which of the group is most unlikely to be with their current team in 2013?
Receiver Wes Welker was a dominant part of the discussion, in part because of his age (31) and position.
"I think the Patriots probably see him as somewhat of a product of the system," Hasselbeck opined. "A guy who plays in the slot, really not an outside receiver that can play outside the numbers, and he plays with Tom Brady. I think they probably look around and say, 'Hey, why do we need to pay this guy the type of money, close to Larry Fitzgerald-type money, when we don't see him as that type of player and we're not sure the rest of the league does."
Douglas then spoke more about the slot receiver spot, noting that, "You're not playing against the No. 1 corner, you're not drawing the No. 1 guy on the other team."
At that point, Hasselbeck followed up by highlighting the other slot options in New England.
"Whether it's Julian Edelman or going after a Danny Amendola type, I get the sense that New England feels that spot is replaceable," he said. "I'm not saying those guys are Wes Welker, but listen, are you trading 110 catches for 90 catches? Maybe you are with one of those other players. ... In his role in that offense, he's as good as there is in the business. The question is does he fit in everybody's offense the same way."