One of the first actions of the New England Patriots this offseason was to place the franchise tag on star wide receiver Wes Welker. Welker has been the team’s number one receiver since the departure of Randy Moss and the two sides have been unable to come to a mutual agreement on a long-term deal.
Welker appeared on a local Boston radio station and stated that he would not miss any regular season games. In fact, he said “there are 9.5 million reasons” why he wouldn’t miss any regular season games. The number 9.5 million is referring to the amount of money that Welker is set to receive with the tag.
As is normal procedure with the Patriots, both sides have been quiet about negotiations leaving the public and media to speculate as to whether he would be back for the 2012 season. All both sides have revealed during the offseason is that they hope to have a deal done at some point.
Besides the $9.5 million Welker is now set to make for the upcoming season, there is another good reason to sign the tender. The Patriots won the AFC championship in 2011 and were just a late drive shy of winning another Super Bowl. Since that day, the team has signed a pro bowl wide receiver in Brandon Lloyd and a pro bowl running back and Super Bowl champion Joseph Addai.
The Patriots had the best offense in 2011 and, despite the loss of their starting running back BenJarvis Green-Ellis, have only gotten better. In the draft the team focused on their weak defense and had what many believe to be one of the best overall drafts for 2012.
With these additions made during the 2012 offseason, the Patriots will certainly be one of the favorites to win Super Bowl XLVII. So why would Welker not want to be a part of that? If, or more likely when, Welker signs the tender, he will be the second receiver on the best offense of possibly the best team in the league. Not to sign would question his sanity.