Friday, February 1, 2013
Pats' thoughts on Welker
By Tim Kavanagh
Wes Welker is just one of a big group of impending free agent WRs this offseason with "name value" -- the group also includes Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe, Danny Amendola and Greg Jennings -- and in each case, the player's respective team must decide if he is worth a new multi-year contract or a franchise tag in order to prevent him from hitting the market.
For Welker and Bowe, the franchise tag would be 20 percent higher than the others, since they were tagged in 2012. It's unclear if Welker's representation is using the tag value as a negotiating tool, but Patriots owner Robert Kraft sounds optimistic that a mutually acceptable deal can be sorted out.
"I'd love him to be around," Kraft said Friday, per the Boston Herald. "He's a great guy. Like I've said all along, it takes two sides to make a transaction. We have to manage the lawyers and the agents that they don't mess it up. I think Wes wants to be with us, and we want him here. It's just a matter of whether both sides can be intelligent."
In addition to Welker, the Pats may lose fellow FA WR Julian Edelman as well, and while they'd save some money by not re-signing them, there's no telling whether they'd be able to replace their production with a different option (either signed in free agency or drafted).