. Given the way things have unfolded, I see the Patriots assigning another franchise tag on Welker in the offseason because he’s too valuable to let walk. But here’s one issue that looms: If Welker is tagged at $11.4 million, and you combine that with quarterback Tom Brady’sapproximate $22 million cap hit as a result of his 2012 restructuring, that’s about 27 percent of the team’s cap space on two players — not the type of cap distribution the Patriots prefer because it affects the ability to build depth.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Patriots place the franchise tag on Welker because of how cautious they’ve been in signing him to a long-term contract. He’s been too valuable for them to let him walk.