ESPN's Adam Schefter reports free agent Wes Welker is "not expected" to be franchise tagged ahead of Monday's deadline.
The same is true of Miami's Jake Long and San Francisco's Dashon Goldson. The Boston Herald reported in mid-February that Welker wouldn't be tagged, but that was before Tom Brady's extension cleared considerable cap space. The Pats could tag RT Sebastian Vollmer or CB Aqib Talib, but it's unlikely. New England has just five more days to exclusively negotiate with Welker, and he'll be allowed to sign with other teams beginning March 12. CSN New England reported Sunday the sides had made "progress" toward a long-term deal.