Welker Signs Franchise Tender

BOSTON (CBS) – It looks like the New England Patriots and Wes Welker have avoided what could have been a messy hold-out.

Welker has signed his franchise tender, thereby officially placing him on the Patriots 2012 roster.

“I signed my tender today. I love the game and I love my teammates! Hopefully doing the right thing gets the right results,” the receiver tweeted shortly after the news broke.

Welker is not the only Patriot excited. Fellow receiver Julian Edelman and corner Devin McCourty, who were at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, took some time to talk about #83 re-joining the Pats.

“I think it’s a real positive thing. He’s one of our better players on our team, and he’s only going to make us better. That’s the first time I’ve heard it, and I think that’s great,” said Edelman. “It says that he’s a great teammate; he wants to get back with the team. I’m sure he’s excited to get back and train with us. I’m excited to have him back to learn from him and work with him. It’s great to have him back.”

Even though McCourty’s job just got a little tougher when practice begins, he’s happy to have the receiver back as well.

“All those guys give us great work; Julien, Wes, all the receivers. He’s a veteran guy on the team, so having him there will be great,” said McCourty.

“It shows that he cares about being here,” added McCourty. “I can’t wait to see him back in the locker room.”

The Patriots used their franchise tag on Welker this offseason, ensuring him of a one-year deal worth roughly $9.5 million. The signing of the tender does not eliminate the possibility that Welker and the Patriots still work out a long-term deal.

Welker, who turned 31 earlier this month, led the Patriots with 122 receptions and 1,569 yards in 2012.

The Boston Globe’s Greg Bedard was first to report the news.


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