After much uncertainty and confusion, it appears the drama over New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker's free agency became a lot clearer late Sunday night.
According to Greg A. Bedard and Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe, the Patriots are expected to slap the franchise tag on Wes Welker just before the Monday afternoon deadline a league source close to them said.
With the new NFL collective bargaining agreement in place, franchised players are expected to receive close to $9.4 million next season with a one-year contract. Official terms on the franchise tag have not yet bee released, however.
The team reportedly offered Welker and his representatives a two-year, fully guaranteed contract for $16 million, but the proposal was turned down by the pro bowl wide receiver.
The team will have until 3:59 p.m. Monday do decide whether or not they will franchise Welker or another one of their free agents. New England is not required to use the tag. We'll know more in a few hours, but as of right now, it appears that Welker will be the Patriots' "franchise player" for the 2012 season.