Wes Welker signs franchise tender with Patriots

Wes Welker signed his franchise tender with the New England Patriots, a source with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday, and will be guaranteed $9.515 million in base salary next season.

The signing comes one day after Welker, who wants a long-term deal, told WEEI Radio he had “$9.5 million reasons why I won’t miss any regular-season games.” The Patriots have organized team activities next week, but Welker isn’t required to report to the team facility until a full-squad minicamp in mid-June.

Welker didn’t participate in the Patriots’ voluntary workout program last month.

“Through my body of work, through the past five years, I think what I’ve done — I’ve earned a long-term deal,” Welker told ESPN Boston.com in April. “It’s what I am looking for and what I want. Hopefully that’s the case, and hopefully we come to something where we can make that happen.”

Welker, a nine-year NFL veteran, has played the last five seasons in New England. He caught 122 passes for 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011.



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