BOSTON (CBS) – Just as expected, the Patriots officially placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Wes Welker on Monday, according to the Boston Globe’s Greg Bedard.
Welker, 30, was due to become a free agent. The franchise tag keeps him on the Patriots for one year, with a salary determined by the average of the five highest-paid players at the position. Last year, that price was roughly $9.5 million.
Welker joined the Patriots in 2007 and has caught 554 passes since then, more than any other player in the NFL. He finished second in the league in receiving yards last year and had a career-high nine touchdowns.
Expectations are that Welker and the Patriots will work toward agreeing on a long-term contract, much like the team did with Vince Wilfork in the 2010 offseason and Logan Mankins last year. However, the long list of available free-agent receivers will likely play a factor in how and when those discussions take place.