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Patriots expected to tag Welker, add another wide receiver

Super Bowl XLVI Getty Images

Wide receiver is looking like a busy position for the Patriots as they head toward the free agency season.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reports that the team is still expected to place the franchise tag on Wes Welker before Monday’s deadline for placing the franchise tag passes. The tag carries a price of around $9.4 million, although there have been reports out of Boston that Welker won’t be in any hurry to sign the tender. Reiss believes the Patriots are waiting until the last minute to avoid creating a “hard ball” situation with Welker, although there’s little hope of avoiding it if that’s the way Welker chooses to respond to the tag.

Once the Patriots take care of Welker, they’re expected to move on to the hunt for another wide receiver. Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that he keeps hearing the team’s top priority in free agency will be a wide receiver. Bedard names Vincent Jackson and Mike Wallace as the top choices among players on the market. Wallace is a restricted free agent and Jackson could still be franchised by the Chargers, so acquiring either player could wind up costing a pick in addition to a new contract. Bedard also mentions Brandon Lloyd as a possibility, something that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given Lloyd’s public comments about reuniting with Josh McDaniels in New England.

The biggest fly in the ointment with signing another top wideout would be the amount of money the Patriots are tying up at one position. If Welker is making $9.4 million under the tag, they would be spending a lot of cap space on two wide receivers. That might be worthwhile, but it would certainly make life easier for New England if they could reach an agreement with Welker that results in a lower cap number.

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64 Responses to “Patriots expected to tag Welker, add another wide receiver”
  1. dolphins4 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:27 PM

    The Giants old receiver Steve Smith would be a good receiver for the Patriots.

  2. tommyf15 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:28 PM

    Welker turns 31 in May. Seems like the perfect guy to give a short-term deal to via the franchise tag. Hurts a little in the short term, but in the long run it works for New England.

  3. tdk24 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:29 PM

    They should sign a clutch QB instead.

  4. foosball11 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:33 PM

    Of course the pats are going to add another WR, they need one that can catch the football.

  5. thatobnoxiousguy says: Mar 4, 2012 4:34 PM

    They still will not legitimatly win a Super Bowl.

  6. bostonsports11 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:44 PM

    Not sure what legitimately means. They won 3. If your one of those spygate idiots that thinks that’s why they won learn the game and stop hating on a great team. Please explain how video taping defensive signals, which ALL teams did helped them be THAT good. You can’t and if you tried you would look like more of a jets fan blow hard. Have fun looking up to TB12 and BB.

  7. blossman says: Mar 4, 2012 4:46 PM

    While Welker has been very procuctive as Bradys “dink” and “dunk” guy, his time is up with the Pats. Julian Edelman will be just as effective in this role and will cost a ton less. The franchise tag should lead to a trade for a second or third rounder or both, which the Pats will convert to more draft picks, and will pick up a big wideout via free agency. This is the Patriot way. So long Wes, it’s been fun.

  8. wtfru2 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:46 PM

    What, no Randy Moss?????

  9. mrslay1 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:53 PM

    Welker is Bradys best weapon. They always find others, but you just can’t lose him by not paying him fair. I hope they get Joe Adams from Arkansas. He and Mallett would be the Brady and Welker of thefuture, just like they were at Arkansas!

  10. tfbuckfutter says: Mar 4, 2012 4:53 PM

    It’s not that bad to devote a lot of money to the WR position if you don’t intend to spend any on the defense.

  11. christos99 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:53 PM

    I would cut Ocho Cinco for cap room and sign Mike Wallace to a fat contract. With 2 high first round picks, Pats can afford to give one up.

  12. ampats says: Mar 4, 2012 4:53 PM

    Couldn’t disagree more blossman. Welker is Brady’s security blanket (close friend,not that it matters to BB) and has the most receptions by any WR on the Pats the past three seasons no top of leading the league

    Welker is going nowhere, franchise then sign a contract.

    Edelman has proven to be a valuable player but I would not assume he could fill Welker’s shoes.

  13. manofmanners says: Mar 4, 2012 4:55 PM

    It is a good move because they can lock up draft picks cheap and improve the defense.

  14. 8man says: Mar 4, 2012 4:55 PM

    When you have Brady late in his career, it makes sense to spend the money on guys who can stretch the field and catch the ball. If they stay healthy and the line remains intact, the Patriots will be in the mix.

    Yeah, they’ve lost their last two Super Bowls, but show me a fan that wouldn’t take 5 of them in 10 years.

  15. maddenisfordorks says: Mar 4, 2012 4:56 PM

    The real question is …

    Will Brady be able to “out duel” Tebow???

  16. thomasreilly says: Mar 4, 2012 4:59 PM

    tdk24 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:29 PM

    They should sign a clutch QB instead.

    You know, I’m a die-hard Pats fan, but I cannot disagree with this comment. Brady has been out-performed in the playoffs by a bunch of quarterbacks in the past few years. I think the Pats won the Ravens game in spite of Brady.

    I would trade him for 2-3 first round picks if they could get it….I think Hoyer/Mallet (plus $10 cap room) with Belichick would result in a better chance. Sadly, I think Brady’s best days are behind him.

  17. jenniferxxx says: Mar 4, 2012 5:06 PM

    “If your one of those spygate idiots that thinks that’s why they won learn the game and stop hating on a great team. ”

    True. Knowing what defense the other team was going to run probably didn’t make any difference.

  18. bostonsports11 says: Mar 4, 2012 5:08 PM

    Amen 8man. Amen sir. That’s what i Am saying. If people think Brady’s best days are behind him look at the stats. Eli is an elite qb and they win that game if a catch is made. Plane and simple. They will be back again. Stats don’t lie

  19. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 5:09 PM

    so funny how phony boston fans try to constantly down play the pansies cheating, for one no NOT ALL teams were doing it and two they were doing much more than just stealing defensive signals but I’ve yet to find a single “pansie fan” who understands or at least has the guts to admit to what they really did…….. pathetic

  20. allsportsnyfan says: Mar 4, 2012 5:12 PM

    They can add these receivers, but they need a QB like Eli to win SBs. The one they have lately have been choking in its last two SBs, even though he promised Kraft that he will play better in it, very disappointing. Well good luck.

  21. apcsteel says: Mar 4, 2012 5:12 PM

    Why you think the steelers didn’t franchise wallance we love to have two 1st picks to rebuild our d & o lines

  22. vbar119 says: Mar 4, 2012 5:13 PM

    Can somebody please help me with this question I’ve been wondering? If the Pats were to sign Mike Wallace, would they have to give up their highest 1st round pick or their lowest 1st round pick? How is that decided? Thank you!

  23. marcuswelby70 says: Mar 4, 2012 5:16 PM

    tdk24 says:
    Mar 4, 2012 4:29 PM
    They should sign a clutch QB instead.
    ————————————
    Yeah, maybe they should just let their first ballot Hall of Famer go to free up some cap room (sarcasm)!
    Or maybe they should see if they could work out a deal with Rex. Brady for Sanchez straight up…then they would really have a clutch QB!!!

  24. bostonsports11 says: Mar 4, 2012 5:24 PM

    Nflsonly one. Please explain to me how it helped them win 3 superbowls??? It didn’t so you can’t. I love all the non patriots fans that try and make that the reason that they won. How am I phony? Again please make sense before you throw comments out there. If the jets were caught taping signals I would say the same thing. Even jimmy Johnson said it has been done for the longest time. So if you think that’s why they won, good luck to you. But when until someone explains how it made them win then I am all ears. It was never talked about in meetings or anything. Someone would have come out by now and said how it was used when it wasn’t.

  25. bostonsports11 says: Mar 4, 2012 5:24 PM

    I think it’s their own draft pick not the one they acquired via trade.

  26. flaccounibrow says: Mar 4, 2012 5:27 PM

    bostonsports11 says:Mar 4, 2012 4:44 PM

    Not sure what legitimately means. They won 3. If your one of those spygate idiots that thinks that’s why they won learn the game and stop hating on a great team. Please explain how video taping defensive signals, which ALL teams did helped them be THAT good. You can’t and if you tried you would look like more of a jets fan blow hard. Have fun looking up to TB12 and BB.
    _______________________________

    Keep telling yourself this if it makes you feel better. They cheated, and have not won another superbowl since. They wouldn’t have been fined and had a 1st round pick taken if ALL teams were doing it. Fact is they won 3 superbowls by 3 points each without help. And this doesn’t even factor in the blatant holding of the Titans and Colts WRs in the playoffs which ironically resulted in more strict enforcment of the 5 yard illegal contact rule. “Hold the recievers all game. They can’t call a penalty every snap.” Bill Belicheat…

  27. ampats says: Mar 4, 2012 5:27 PM

    vbar119,
    pick 31 their own pick not the pick the NFL would have taken away from the Saints.

    nflsnotsoonlyone,
    maybe because they didn’t cheat. They violated a league rule on “where” not if they could videotape anything that happens on the NFL field. Clearly they were not the only team in the league but like the Saints will find out had to pay the price for getting caught.

  28. flaccounibrow says: Mar 4, 2012 5:28 PM

    That should say with help.

  29. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 5:34 PM

    I could very easily point out how it helped them win but as I said in typical phony pansie fan fashion you still down play it to only stealing defensive signals when it was way more but since you’re not willing to admit this then it’s obvious you will automatically deny any explanation given to you, and how are you phony? simple you’re a pansie fan they’re ALL phony, that’s no secret

  30. bostonsports11 says: Mar 4, 2012 5:34 PM

    Ampats is right. It was a rule they broke that the league sent a memo out the week prior said to stop doing it and they didn’t. So yes, most teams if not all were doing it. Remember the backlash after with ex coached saying it wasn’t a big deal. But you don’t want to remember that, you just want to say how they cheated and didn’t win without it. However with no factual backing other than ” keep telling your self that they are cheaters”and “bill belicheat”. Don’t let fact stand in the way of your arguement. I am out. Have better things to do then argue with idiots. Post will be deleted I am sure but it’s true. Youre an idiot. Tell mom I said hello when she calls you up for. The basement for dimner

  31. whywerule says: Mar 4, 2012 5:35 PM

    apcsteel says:Mar 4, 2012 5:12 PM

    Why you think the steelers didn’t franchise wallance we love to have two 1st picks to rebuild our d & o lines

    FWIW, if someone offers Wallace a contract that the Steelers do not match, the Steelers get one 1st round pick, not two.

  32. redsghost says: Mar 4, 2012 5:37 PM

    jenniferxxx says:Mar 4, 2012 5:06 PM

    “If your one of those spygate idiots that thinks that’s why they won learn the game and stop hating on a great team. ”

    True. Knowing what defense the other team was going to run probably didn’t make any difference.

    Jennifer- stick to cooking and sewing until you learn something about football.

  33. redsghost says: Mar 4, 2012 5:45 PM

    flaccounibrow says:Mar 4, 2012 5:27 PM

    Keep telling yourself this if it makes you feel better. They cheated, and have not won another superbowl since. They wouldn’t have been fined and had a 1st round pick taken if ALL teams were doing it. Fact is they won 3 superbowls by 3 points each without help. And this doesn’t even factor in the blatant holding of the Titans and Colts WRs in the playoffs which ironically resulted in more strict enforcment of the 5 yard illegal contact rule. “Hold the recievers all game. They can’t call a penalty every snap.” Bill Belicheat…

    So making a mistake of where a camera is placed is cheating now? I noticed you didn’t mention the blantant holding that the Giants used to win there last two SB’s- how come? Are you a hater? It’s mentioned when the dreaded Patriots are doing it but not the Giants? And you had it right the first time, WITHOUT help. They made ONE mistake and suddenly ALL three of their Superbowls are tainted? If you say he did it all the time, does that mean the Giants SB’s with Tuna and Belichick are tainted?
    Learn before you speak- you look like less of an idiot.

  34. tdk24 says: Mar 4, 2012 5:48 PM

    “marcuswelby70 says:
    Mar 4, 2012 5:16 PM
    tdk24 says:
    Mar 4, 2012 4:29 PM
    They should sign a clutch QB instead.
    ————————————
    Yeah, maybe they should just let their first ballot Hall of Famer go to free up some cap room (sarcasm)!
    Or maybe they should see if they could work out a deal with Rex. Brady for Sanchez straight up…then they would really have a clutch QB!!!”

    Well, when has he been clutch in a superbowl? Never is the correct answer. Their only clutch player was Vinatieri. He had to save Brady’s arse by making the game winning FG’s. Funny how they haven’t won once since he left, but he did win one later in Indy. Just sayin, Brady ain’t all that. Vinatieri will never get the credit he deserves.

  35. flaccounibrow says: Mar 4, 2012 5:51 PM

    bostonsports11 says:Mar 4, 2012 5:34 PM

    Ampats is right. It was a rule they broke that the league sent a memo out the week prior said to stop doing it and they didn’t. So yes, most teams if not all were doing it. Remember the backlash after with ex coached saying it wasn’t a big deal. But you don’t want to remember that, you just want to say how they cheated and didn’t win without it. However with no factual backing other than ” keep telling your self that they are cheaters”and “bill belicheat”. Don’t let fact stand in the way of your arguement. I am out. Have better things to do then argue with idiots. Post will be deleted I am sure but it’s true. Youre an idiot. Tell mom I said hello when she calls you up for. The basement for dimner
    _________________________

    The truth hurts. Your team cheated, and have not won a superbowl since. I bet they’d be 5-0, if they could have kept cheating. Now go smell a bean town fart. And by the way I could buy and sell you twice over.

  36. bostonsports11 says: Mar 4, 2012 5:57 PM

    Yeah I am sure every signal is the same. Yup you convinced me

  37. mcgrath1770 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:00 PM

    Nobody knows the real truth of the videos because know one here has seen them , bill belicheck and co. were severely punished over it which leads me to believe they cheated . Whether other teams have done this who cares they got caught , I personally cant wait for hoyer to take over and brady to take a hike , no offense brady but not the same since gisele came along . Now to the article welker is not replaceable he is tough as nails and a likeable guy with great numbers ! Hold onto him !

    Iong time Pats fan in need of a team with heart !

  38. danpit2 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:02 PM

    WALLACE will be a Steeler

  39. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 6:06 PM

    hands down pansie fans are the dumbest fans around the league….. across the board the least knowledgeable that’s why they are incapable of having a real football conersation

  40. situsavaisprier says: Mar 4, 2012 6:06 PM

    Patriots still have a very good offense. IMO, they should look for a WR that can stretch the field/run deeper routes to open things up for the offense. That would really make the offense more dangerous.

  41. marcuswelby70 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:10 PM

    Hey bostonsports11, don’t pop a gasket over the Pats haters. It isn’t worth it. Most of them wouldn’t know what to write if they couldn’t include the word cheaters anyway.

  42. flaccounibrow says: Mar 4, 2012 6:17 PM

    @redsghost
    If they were cheating, then the Tuna’s SB should be null and void. And I’m not sure what you are trying to say. Your post is incoherent at best.

  43. kelvinmchale says: Mar 4, 2012 6:23 PM

    Hey McGrath, Brady broke the yardage record, the TD record, had an undefeated regular season, and won two NFL MVP awards (one unanimously) and went to two Super Bowls since Gisele. Just so you know…

  44. blossman says: Mar 4, 2012 6:27 PM

    Hey Ampats, don’t get me wrong, I love the way Welker plays, and you’re right, he has been the most effective weapon over the past few years. However, the tide is changing in New England I believe. The new tight end trend will continue so the slot guy won’t need to be awesome, just consistent. The Pats problem on offense is not being able to stretch the field anymore, whether that’s because Brady has lost his mojo or lack of talent down field or a bit of both. Finances rule the league these days. Why pay a guy 8 million when you could pay a guy 2 million? Loyalty? Just like Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel or Willie M? Billy B takes great pride in letting you know that you are wanted in New England, not needed. Just for kicks Bill would cut the whole team just to see what he could do with a group of undrafted free agents who are smart, hungry and willing to die for each other. That’s why I think they very well could franchise and then trade Welker. That’s also why I love to follow the Patriots; turning coal into diamonds baby!

  45. saintswillwin says: Mar 4, 2012 6:36 PM

    Not sure what legitimately means. They won 3. If your one of those spygate idiots that thinks that’s why they won learn the game and stop hating on a great team. Please explain how video taping defensive signals, which ALL teams did helped them be THAT good. You can’t and if you tried you would look like more of a jets fan blow hard. Have fun looking up to TB12 and BB.

    The fact Patricheats haven’t won a Super Bowl since SpyGate.

  46. sschmiggles says: Mar 4, 2012 6:49 PM

    tdk24 says:
    Mar 4, 2012 4:29 PM
    They should sign a clutch QB instead.
    __________________________

    So should the Packers, Colts, and about 27 other teams by your logic.

    Only clutch QB’s I can think of right now:

    – Eli
    – Big Ben
    – No one else comes close

    I’ll TB over Romo, Flunko, Rivers, or anyone in the AFC including Peyton who might not even be able to play and certainly was never more clutch than Brady at any point in his career.

  47. descendency says: Mar 4, 2012 6:54 PM

    Since 2004, the following teams have won a Super Bowl:

    Giants x2
    Steelers x2
    Colts
    Saints
    Packers

    So basically if you aren’t on that list, your team shouldn’t even exist because you haven’t won a Super Bowl since “Spygate”, according to Patriots haters.

  48. nfl1818 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:56 PM

    This article adds a wealth of information to the other 4 stories on Welkers tag. Thanks so much helping us follow this confusing situation.

  49. 4512dawg4512 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:59 PM

    T.O = superbowl! They should make a run at him

  50. azcm2511 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:01 PM

    Tag Welker, sign Lloyd, sign BJGE, take a run at a couple of free agent DB’s and draft best players available.

  51. TheWizard says: Mar 4, 2012 7:07 PM

    Brady makes Welker what he is.

    If some other team wants to overpay to find that out, I say let them.

  52. watermelon1 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:14 PM

    I actually thought Marcus Colston would be the Patriots top target in free agency.

    He certainly fits the “Patriot Way” mold. Then again, leaving New Orleans for Bew England probably isn’t the change of scenery this guy is looking for.

  53. henrykissingerisgod says: Mar 4, 2012 7:21 PM

    bostonsports11 says: Mar 4, 2012 4:44 PM

    Not sure what legitimately means. They won 3. If your one of those spygate idiots that thinks that’s why they won learn the game and stop hating on a great team. Please explain how video taping defensive signals, which ALL teams did helped them be THAT good. You can’t and if you tried you would look like more of a jets fan blow hard. Have fun looking up to TB12 and BB.
    _________________________________

    the only problem i have with spygate is that the videotapes were burned and the situation was brushed off as nothing. if this was truly the case then why werent the tapes kept and shown. this would have proven that the tapes provided no help. The fact that they were burned proves otherwise. And i am no jets blowhard…my team has won 2 superbowls since the spygate pats have won anything

  54. kingkreg12 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:31 PM

    And in that time we have won 2 AFC Championships… that isn’t nothing my friend. Plenty of teams have quite a bit less than that. The fact that they couldn’t finish the deal 2 times was very disappointing, but let’s not forget they were 16-0 that same year spygate came out, and have been well over .500 each year since it as well.

    Even with a backup QB we were 11-5 and somehow didn’t make the playoffs. Quit hating on the Patriots for once as they have been the beasts of the NFL for over a decade now.

  55. mcgrath1770 says: Mar 4, 2012 8:03 PM

    Superbowl wins are what really matter imo notice how no one talks about marino all that much , since spygate and gisele; brady cant win a superbowl ! All his stats are great dont get me wrong but its all about the big game

  56. toppdogg51 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:26 PM

    @bostonsports11
    I totally agree with your post. Great response!

  57. dlmcc1010 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:50 PM

    Are some of you guys really under the impression that your team should move on from Tom Brady? Really?

    That team finishes in 3rd place in the division without Tom Brady. No defense, no run game, no shot. That team had no business even beig in the Super Bowl. Brady is the reason you got there. Or are you guys delusional to think that headcase QB you drafted last year is going to turn into Aaron Rodgers?

  58. deflatedfootball says: Mar 5, 2012 12:08 AM

    So… Since “Spygate” the Patriots have had a 68-20 record. Yes, in that time they have 4 playoff losses including two SB’s, 27 other teams haven’t won a Super Bowl in that time. I love that they have won 70% plus of their games since but when they lose it’s only because they’re not cheating anymore… So, I guess they’re still cheating EVERY TIME they win?

    They’re not losing because Brady is no longer clutch or because he doesn’t have other teams signals, they’re losing because BB is a big headed psycho who has wiffed at putting a defense together that can get off of the field when it matters. The Patriots have slowly “Manning-ed” Brady and have thrown it all on his shoulders.

    As for all of the “die-hard” Patriots fans who are calling for Brady’s head; the Patriots would still irrelevant without him… No wonder everyone thinks Boston sports fans are spoiled babies.

  59. anhdazman says: Mar 5, 2012 3:39 AM

    Smart move NE. With Brady entering if not already in the twilight of his career, you got to continue to give him weapons at the WR position.
    I remember Dan Marino in Miami, closing out his career without getting any help from management. The WRs they had towards the end of his career was laughable. What a shame.
    Now also do Brady a favor and stick to a solid 2 RB rotation so the whole offense can get the running game clicking.

  60. bbk1000 says: Mar 5, 2012 5:59 AM

    Pats franchise Welker.

    Translation: Pats have no players.

  61. daveydawg says: Mar 5, 2012 7:52 AM

    Arguing on these boards isn’t healthy…. But the pats have been to 2 more superbowls since spygate, so….

  62. gorilladik81 says: Mar 5, 2012 7:55 AM

    Resign Welker, sign Vincent Jackson, and draft Michael Floyd with the 27th pick, use the rest of the picks on D,

  63. flash1283 says: Mar 5, 2012 8:18 AM

    bbk1000 says:
    Mar 5, 2012 5:59 AM
    Pats franchise Welker.

    Translation: Pats have no players.
    ———-

    Translation: Lame Post.

  64. bbk1000 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:47 PM

    flash1283 says:Mar 5, 2012 8:18 AM

    Translation: Lame Post.

    The post was spot on…you need to be more original…don’t they have creative writing in community colleges?

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