One of the biggest questions for the New England Patriots arises from the status of the man who committed one of the biggest drops in NFL history. (Even though I still say it wasn’t all his fault.)
Receiver Wes Welker will become a free agent on March 13, unless the Patriots sign him to a new deal.
Appearing on Armando Salguero’s radio show in South Florida, Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe said that the Patriots will (not might, but will) use the franchise tag on Welker.
“He’s going to be tagged, that I know for pretty much certain,” Bedard said, via Salguero’s blog at the Miami Herald. “If they don’t, he’s going to sign with the Jets and they’re going to have to try and cover him twice a year, or the Dolphins . . . . They want him back. I don’t see why things would change now, but the way it stood before the Super Bowl, they’re going to tag him.”
Welker joining the Dolphins would be stunning, given that the Dolphins traded Welker to the Patriots five years ago while he was a restricted free agent.
Bedard also believes things will turn contentious, with Welker holding out as long as possible, showing up in the middle of the season, signing the franchise tender, and playing out the string of remaining games.
That would be a surprise; quarterback Tom Brady surely will want Welker with the team, and Welker likely will want to atone for his Super Bowl blunder. (Even though I still say it wasn’t all his fault.)
Regardless, drama could be descending on the Pats over the next few weeks — and it could last deep into the 2012 season.