Patriots officially franchise tag Wes Welker today

wes-welker-anna-burns

The New England Patriots are expected to place the franchise tag on wide receiver Wes Welker today.

The one-year tag is worth $9.5 million to the NFL’s leading receiver, and give the Pats more flexibility to work out a long-term deal with the wideout before the 2012 season. Franchise-tagging Welker would keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent next month.

You do recall the Butterfingers publicity stunt in Boston right after the Super Bowl? Which made Welker the comedic foil? Well, at worst Welker is getting 9.5 million reasons to forget about it.

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Wes Welker “honored” with 8,000 Butterfingers in Boston town square

welker-drop

No doubt the biggest turning point in Super Bowl XLVI was the embarrassing drop by Wes Welker on what would’ve been at least a 30 yard gain, possibly a touchdown, on the final drive in which New England held the lead. Sure, Aaron Hernandez and Deion Branch made some drops, but Hernandez is still developing his game and Branch is extremely mediocre.

Welker on the other hand, had 22 catches more than anyone in the NFL this season, and he’s developed a reputation as the greatest slot receiver in the game’s history. So for him to blow such an easy catch like that, a grab he’s made 100s of time…kind of looked like what you’d see when someone’s point-shaving.

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