The New England Patriots have secured WR Wes Welker for the 2012 season by placing the team’s franchise tag on him. Both parties are looking towards a long-term deal during the off-season that will free up cap space, giving the team more flexibility in acquiring another receiver.
The Kansas City Chiefs have also slapped WR Dwayne Bowe with the franchise tag a week after DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles was the first receiver of the off-season to get hit with the tag. Buffalo Bill’s star wideout Stevie Johnson avoided being franchised by working out a 5-year $36 million deal. Franchised wide receivers will earn approximately $9.4 million during the 2012 season.