According to a report from the Boston Herald today, the New England Patriots will not place a franchise tag on slot receiver Wes Welker. Last year, Welker turned down a two-year $16 million offer before the Patriots placed the franchise tag on him. Now, Welker will become a free-agent, and New England is not expected to aggressively pursue him.
For months, visions of Tavon Austin in the Patriots’ offense has danced through our heads. We’re not the only ones. James Christensen of NewEnglandPatriotsDraft.com wrote about the subject last November. A Google search of “Tavon Austin Patriots” results in over 50K hits. On many mock drafts, pundits have the Patriots choosing Austin with the 29th overall pick.
One reason Austin could fit in well in New England is that the receivers run similar routes in Josh McDaniels’ offense as Austin ran in Dana Holgorsen’s offense at WVU. With Austin in the fold, he could take handoffs from Tom Brady as well.
Allowing Welker to enter free-agency could make Tavon Austin the Patriot’s target in the first round of the NFL Draft. Unless another team drafts Austin before the 29th pick…