Patriots WR Welker Signs Franchise Tender

Ian Logue
May 15, 2012 at 03:56pm ET

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Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker reportedly signed his $9.5 million franchise tag on Tuesay, which should end any speculation of a potential holdout. (Photo: US Presswire)

Patriots wide receiver Welker said in a radio interview with WEEI on Monday that there were $9.5 million reasons for him to play in 2012, and it appears that's exactly what he's going to do.

The veteran reportedly signed his franchise tag tender on Tuesday, which now gives him a one-year fully guaranteed contract for the 2012 season as well as leaving the door open for the two sides to also potentially work out a long-term deal.

By league rule the Patriots and Welker have until July 15th to work out an extension, and it will be interesting to see if this sudden change by Welker - who had previously seemed reluctant to even come into camp prior to the start of the regular season without a new contract - is a positive sign that the talks are moving in the right direction.

Welker announced the signing on Twitter, saying "I signed my tender today.  I love the game and I love my teammates!  Hopefully doing the right thing gets the right results. #leapoffaith"

The signing also shuts down the potential media circus that could have taken place next week as the team prepares to come together for OTA's, and will allow the players to focus on the task at hand - which is trying to get back to work and prepare for another season.

"I think we're all on the same page and we're all trying to collectively come together and make something happen," Welker said during his interview with WEEI yesterday.  Hopefully we'll see him locked up for a few more seasons in the coming months.