The Patriots have until Monday at 4 p.m. to apply the franchise tag to Wes Welker, whichwould keep the wideout offthe free-agent market.Thatthe deadline draws closer and all isquiet could be a good sign. Silence often precedes progress. The Patriots and Welker's agent, David Dunn, havetried since last fallto get Welker a deal that works for both sides, but it's not clear how busy they've been in recent days. Dunn hasn't responded to calls to any of his phones, nor to e-mails, texts or carrier pigeon. The Patriots? Ummm, no. Welker, who turns 31 in May, signed a five-year, 18 million deal with the team in 2007. Since he's been here, he's made 554 catches for 6,105 yards and 31 touchdowns. He had one receiving touchdown before he came to New England. He's been to four Pro Bowls, battled back from a blown ACL in mere months and has been a worthy successor to Troy Brown as the Patriot most who most fully embodies what the franchise has been about since Bill Belichick arrived. In August, Larry Fitzgerald, 28,of the Cardinals signed an eight-year, 128.5 million contract with 50 million guaranteed. The age difference and the role difference between Welker and Fitzgerald is certainly worth noting - Welker's a slot receiver; Fitzgerald is an outside receiver and home-run threat - but the production similarities are worth noting as well. No receiver has been more productive than Welker over the past five years and the Patriots have gotten him at a very low cost relative to that production. It's Dunn's job to make sure Welker gets paid near the top of the receiver food chain and he's well within his rights to expect the Patriots to shell out a little more on top of that for services already rendered. The Patriots love Welker the player and the person. They want him around long-term, but it's unfathomable to think he'll be getting a deal which has a total value that even approaches Fitzgerald's 50 million guaranteed. With the franchise tag set at 9.4 million this year, a four-year, 32 million deal with 18-20 million guaranteed seems fair for Welker. He'd be making 8 million a year and would have a good chance of realizing all the money in the deal. In the end, he will have made 50 million over nine seasons if you roll in the first contract with the Patriots. The first players to get tagged this offseason came Thursday -DeSean Jackson of the Eagles and Raider Tyvon Branch. We're expecting a few more on Friday and the trickle of tagged players to continue until the deadline. We'll see if Welker is in the trickle.
Tonight at 7:00pm on CSN and CSNNE.com, the Boston Celtics play their annual Green vs White scrimmage at TD Garden.
Our broadcast team of Mike Gorman, Tommy Heinsohn, Abby Chin, Brian Scalabrine, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely bring you all the action from the scrimmage as we get our first look at the 2016 Boston Celtics.
Also, Wyc Grousbeck and Danny Ainge are scheduled to join us during the broadcast.
BRIGHTON, Mass. – The Bruins had a pretty humbling experience hosting the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night when they were outhustled, outworked and vastly outscored in a lopsided, 5-1 loss at TD Garden.
So, they’re clearly looking for a much crisper, cleaner and competitive result at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night for the first road exhibition game in a rematch with the Wings. Adam McQuaid had a rough night in his first preseason game as the most experienced guy on the D-men group iced that night, so he’s looking for a better performance personally and team-wide against Detroit this time around.
“It goes without saying that our last game was pretty bad from top to bottom,” said McQuaid. “There are a lot of areas to improve on. Guys were working hard at times, but the battle, and getting in on guys and battling, you have to make sure you’re on top of them when you defend quick players like that. Yesterday was a good up-tempo [practice] and guys were battling with each other, and hopefully that carries over into [the game].”
Helping matters will be a much more experienced group as the solid pairing of John-Michael Liles and Brandon Carlo will be added to the mix and Joe Morrow will be making the trip as well. Up front, Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey will be playing in their second consecutive games after generating some decent offense against Detroit. They will have 19-year-old speedy Zach Senyshyn added to their mix.
“The last game we had a bit of a hard time with our breakouts, so we worked on that a little bit,” said Spooner. “I don’t think we were very happy with how we played. The compete level, especially when he got down 4-0, I don’t think it was high enough. So we talked about, and we expect a better effort for sure.”
Young prospects Danton Heinen and Peter Cehlarik will also be in the mix with Riley Nash and Dominic Moore bringing experience down the middle of the ice. Perhaps that combined with the growing intensity in each succeeding preseason game will pull a better result out of a group facing the first cuts of training camp following the two games this weekend.