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Saturday, February 25, 2012
Schefter on Welker negotiation

By Mike Reiss

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter has filed a report on Wes Welker's contract negotiation with the Patriots.
The New England Patriots are likely to place their franchise tag on wide receiver Wes Welker, according to a league source.

The two sides have been discussing a new deal, but if one cannot be reached, New England plans to use the $9.5 million franchise wide receiver tag. ...

One NFL general manager estimated that, with the cost of the franchise tags decreasing due to the new collective bargaining agreement, as many as 25 tags could be used to restrict player movement this offseason.

The franchise tag used to be based on the average of the top five salaries at that position from last season. In the new CBA, it's based on the average of the top five salaries at that position from the previous five seasons.

To read Schefter's report, CLICK HERE.

ANALYSIS: This scenario is what was expected. The Patriots can't run the risk of letting Welker test the market without restrictions, as it would compromise their leverage in retaining a top asset. Here is a link to the Patriots' past history with the franchise tag. If the Patriots do follow through and tag Welker, as expected, one would think comments from the team would be similar to what was said with Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork the last two years because of the desire to keep working with Welker. The sides don't appear close to a middle ground and will need more time. The franchise tag buys the team more time, while protecting its asset.