Adam Schefter of ESPN tweets that the Patriots are not expected to place the franchise tag on Wes Welker today. March 4th marks the final day that teams can use the tag on one of their players.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated recently spoke with Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft about Tom Brady's new contract extension. "I just didn't want to ever see this become like Joe Montana leaving San Francisco, Emmitt Smith leaving Dallas, Brett Favre leaving Green Bay, Peyton Manning leaving Indianapolis," said Kraft. "If Tom Brady played out this current contract and left us, there was no doubt in my mind that someone out there would pay him top dollar, and they should, for his ability, his leadership and his unselfishness."
Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com reports that the Patriots are still weighing their options on using the franchise tag. According to a league source, the team has made no final decisions in regards to using the tag on one of their players as today's 4 p.m. deadline approaches. "The team appears to be leaning toward not using the tag but that is 'not definite'," writes Curran.
Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald says 'don't bet' on the Patriots using the franchise today. "The tag hits for either Aqib Talib ($10.8 million) or Sebastian Vollmer ($9.9 million) are costly, and would take up a big chunk of the cap space just gained," adds Guregian. "Perhaps the Pats will ultimately pull the trigger on the tag and assure themselves of not losing either Talib or possibly Vollmer. But it's looking more and more like they'll keep the tag in their pocket this time around." Guregian also notes that "things seem to be progressing" with Wes Welker in terms of a new long-term contract.
Nick Underhill of MassLive.com writes that the San Francisco 49ers are not expected to bring back WR Randy Moss for a second season, according to a report by ProFootballTalk.com. Underhill wonders: Will the Patriots be interested? His best guess is no. "If New England strikes out on all other options and Moss is still available then maybe it becomes a little more likely. He's better than Deion Branch, knows the system and has proven chemistry with Tom Brady, so you could do worse."