The Patriots applied the franchise tag to Wes Welker.
The team released this statement but didn't attribute it to anyone within the organization: "Wes Welker is a remarkable football player for our team and has been a vital component to our offense and special teams since we traded for him in 2007. Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more time to try to reach an agreement, which is the goal. Wes remains a contractual priority and we are hopeful that he will remain a Patriot for years to come."
Welker would make $9.4 million under the tag next season but may still sign a longer deal rather than play under the one-year tender. Patriots DL Vince Wilfork (2010) and LG Logan Mankins (2011) parlayed the tag into long-term extensions shortly after receiving it.