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Pats franchise WR Wes Welker

Updated: March 5, 2012, 11:25 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

The New England Patriots placed their franchise tag Monday on wide receiver Wes Welker, the team announced.

"Wes Welker is a remarkable football player for our team and has been a vital component to our offense and special teams since we traded for him in 2007," the team said in a statement. "Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more time to try to reach an agreement, which is the goal. Wes remains a contractual priority and we are hopeful that he will remain a Patriot ...

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