In a Team-first Move, Welker Signs Franchise Tender

5/15/12 in NFL   |   Murphy24   |   278 respect

Jan 22, 2012;  Foxborough, MA, USA;  New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Ravens 23-20, Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIREDespite his open and ongoing campaign for a long term contract with the New England Patriots, star wide receiver Wes Welker announced today over Twitter that he had signed his $9.5 million franchise tender, guaranteeing his return for at least the 2012-13 season.
"I signed my tender today. I love the game and I love my teammates! Hopefully doing the right thing gets the right results. #leapoffaith," Welker tweeted, demonstrating both a team-first attitude and an awareness of the risk that he is taking.
Welker has been vocal in his desire for a long-term deal, and as the NFL’s leader in receptions and yards over the past five years, he believes he is entitled to a large-chunk of future financial security. By signing the franchise offer, Welker gives up a large portion of his leverage in the negotiation progress, however will now be present once training camp and mandatory OTA’s begin, which is huge for a team that came up a quarter short of winning the Super Bowl last season.
While $9.5 million dollars is nothing to scoff at, everyone in New England is hoping that Welker and the Pats can come up with a deal that keeps the receiver around for the long-term. Welker is not the first Patriots star to receive the franchise tag in recent years, and the team has had success extending players such as Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork to extended contracts under similar circumstances.
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