Welker signs franchise tender with Patriots

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Welker signs franchise tender with Patriots

Wes Welker sounded like he had no plans to hold out during an interview on Monday. On Tuesday, it became official that he wouldn't.

Welker has signed his franchise tender with the Patriots, according to a source. He will be paid a guaranteed 9.5 million this year.

The Patriots wideout announced the news himself moments after it was reported.

I signed my tender today. I love the game and I love my teammates! Hopefully doing the right thing gets the right results. leapoffaith Wes Welker (@WesWelker) May 15, 2012
Now that he has officially signed, Welker will be able to participate in organized team activities, which start on Monday.

The Boston Globe first reported the story.

Study ranks Patriots fan base as second-best in NFL

Study ranks Patriots fan base as second-best in NFL

A scholarly blog from Emory ranks the Patriots as having the second-best fan base in the NFL. 

Compiled by professor Mike Lewis and favoring in numerous statistical data, the list ranks the Patriots first in terms of “social equity,” third in “fan equity” and fifth in “road equity.” The Cowboys hold the top overall spot. 

The following graphic is from Lewis' report. 

Lewis allows for the possibility that many of New England’s fans may be bandwagon fans, but that the league’s Deflategate scandal boosted engagement from Patriots dans on social media. 

Click here for the full report.