Wes Welker was officially given the Franchise Tag by the New England Patriots on Monday.
In a statement on Monday, the Patriots said about Welker
"Wes Welker is a remarkable football player for our team and has been a vital component to our offense and special teams since we traded for him in 2007. Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more time to try to reach an agreement, which is the goal. Wes remains a contractual priority and we are hopeful that he will remain a Patriot for years to come." (via ESPN Boston)
Welker's five-year deal is up and the team placing the Franchise Tag could be a move to give both sides more time to come to an agreement. The tag could be worth $9.4 million. Welker reportedly turned down a two-year deal worth $8 million.
Welker has been the leading receiver in the NFL in receptions since he signed with New England in 2007. He is also only one of two players to have two seasons of 120+ receptions.