Welker Signs Franchise Tag

Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker has given in on his holdout and signed his franchise tag offer.  The franchise tag entitles him to a one year deal worth about $9.5 million – certainly nothing to sneeze at, but not the long term deal that Welker was seeking and that he has certainly earned.

Wes Welker, photo by John Lanzafame

Welker announced the signing on Twitter, saying, “I signed my tender today. I love the game and I love my teammates! Hopefully doing the right thing gets the right results. #leapoffaith”

The day before, he had tipped his hand when asked by WEEI in Boston if he thought he might miss any regular season games.  “No, not at all,” Welker said. “There’s nine and a half million reasons why I wouldn’t miss any regular season games, so you don’t have to worry about that.”

And Welker is taking a leap of faith, and does deserve that long term contract.  It has been pointed out that the $9.5 million he will receive this year is half of what he earned over a total of 5 years under his 2007 contract, but at under $4 million per season, Welker was one of the biggest bargains in the NFL.

While receivers like Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson are locking down $100+ million deals, Welker has consistently out-performed them.  Just look at the numbers for the last five years (and keep in mind that in the middle of that five year stretch, Welker lost time to recover from a torn ACL):




Wes Welker



Larry Fitzgerald



Calvin Johnson



Hopefully, Welker’s loyalty will be rewarded financially, and beyond this season.  He is one of the classiest character guys in the NFL, and one of the most consistent performers.  He may not be as flashy as Fitzgerald or Johnson (and he may be considerably shorter), but he does his job every week and puts up the numbers.

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