Patriots fans can now breathe a gigantic sigh of relief; Wes Welker has officially signed his $9.5 million franchise tender for the 2012 season.
On Tuesday Welker himself broke the news via 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."
Intriguing free agents
Among the undrafted free agents signed by the New England Patriots last week, a couple caught my eye as possible sleepers.
One was running back Brandon Bolden, 22, who finished his college career at Mississippi ranked second in school history in total touchdowns (33) and rushing touchdowns (27) and fourth in rushing yards (2,604). Another was defensive end Justin Francis, 23, who appeared in 12 games in 2011 at Rutgers and tallied 60 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, one interception and five passes knocked down.
Because he is tired of being a perpetual loser, no Patriots' free agent seems more excited than Robert Gallery.
After spending his first eight seasons in Oakland and Seattle without experiencing a winning season, the offensive lineman is happy to be with a program that is accustomed to winning.
In fact, when the New England Patriots were the first team that contacted him during free agency, the 31-year-old had no desire to explore his other options.
"It's a place that's run right, the tradition is right, and they're all about winning," Gallery said.
With the ability to play both guard and tackle, Gallery's goal is to be a starter on the offensive line, though he has no preference on which side or spot he lines up at.
"I've been told that they are going to put the five best guys out there," Gallery said. "I'm going to be one of the best five guys. That's my goal."
-Compiled by Nick Curcuru and Dave Dyer