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NFL Free Agency 2012: Wes Welker To Get Patriots' Franchise Tag, According To Sources

The New England Patriots have a lot of offseason questions to answer, and one of them has to deal with the future of unrestricted-free-agent wide receiver Wes Welker. Well, according to the Boston Globe's Greg Bedard, who joined a Miami sports-talk radio show, Armando and Perkins, Monday, the Patriots are planning to use the franchise tag on the Pro-Bowl receiver.

"He's going to be tagged, that I know for pretty much certain," said Bedard, who clarified that it's the franchise tag the Pats would use. "If they don't, he's going to sign with the Jets and they're going to have to try and cover him twice a year, or the Dolphins ... They want him back. I don't see why things would change now, but the way it stood before the Super Bowl, they're going to tag him."

Bedard also mentioned what Welker could do if the franchise tag is slapped on him.

Bedard said once the franchise tag goes on Welker he can see, "another Logan Mankins situation where Welker doesn't report until Week 8 of next season."

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Last season, Welker caught a league-best 122 receptions, but was one of the goats in the Patriots 21-17 Super Bowl loss to the Giants, as he failed to haul in a catchable pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the fourth quarter.

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