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Patriots to use franchise tag on Wes Welker

The fallout (as in nuclear) of having Super Bowl success is that other teams get the idea that one way to succeed is to steal coaches and players from the participants.

Such might be the case with New England wide receiver Wes Welker, who happened to lead the NFL in catches in 2011 with 122 receptions. Welker is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. And that is the way it is likely to stay for a while because the sides apparently have a different opinion of Welker's worth.

So do the Patriots lose their top recevier?

No, according to Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe. Bedard joined my radio show, Armando and Perkins, this morning and made it clear he knows New England's plans for Welker.

"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 said the Patriots don't want to pay Welker like an elite receiver. Welker wants to be paid like, well, an elite receiver. Thus the franchise tag to keep Welker from hitting free agency and going to the Jets. (I doubt the Dolphins would sign him because they are invested in Davone Bess as a slot receiver).

The other intriguing thing Bedard said that should be of great interest to Dolphins' fans is that once the Patriots apply the franchise tag to Welker, things will get interesting. And by interesting he meant antogonistic.

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."

Wow!

Tom Brady without his favorite receiver until Week 8 next season? Best piece of news Dolphins fans have gotten in quite some time.

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