GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

February 19, 2013

Crunch Time


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — No Franchise Tag

The Patriots will not place the franchise tag on wide receiver Wes Welker this offseason according to a report from Ron Borges of the Boston Herald.

Welker, who turns 32 this offseason, can become an unrestricted free agent if the Patriots do not place the franchise tag on him, which is worth $11.4M in guaranteed money. The Patriots and Welker have yet to come to terms on a long term deal. Welker played the 2012 season under the franchise tag.

Not tagging Welker does not mean the free agent to be will be leaving New England as the Patriots can still sign him to a contract.

For the Patriots, the franchise tag may be better spent on cornerback Aqib Talib as we all saw the Patriots defense crumble against the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game after Talib left the game with a hamstring injury.

With that said Welker is one of the most productive receivers in the league and if he goes to another team the Patriots will miss his presence more than the fans are willing to admit.

No Trade Clause

Celtics forward/center Kevin Garnett has a no-trade clause in his contract, and the All Star says he will exercise that clause if the Celtics are to trade him.

“If it’s up to me, I’m going to live and die green,” Garnett told reporters during All Star weekend.

Garnett’s name has come up in trade rumors involving the Los Angeles Clippers as the Clippers attempt to make a run at a title and the Celtics attempt to get younger. Boston signed Garnett to a three year deal this offseason.

If the deal is right, the Celtics should explore the option of trading Garnett, but they may not get the chance if Garnett exercises his no-trade claus.

Napoli at First

Red Sox new addition Mike Napoli was cleared by doctors to take the field on Sunday, and on Monday he took his first reps at first base although his participation has been limited.

Napoli agreed to a three year deal with the Red Sox in December but ended up signing a one-year deal after his physical showed a hip injury. He is expected to start at first base for the Sox this season and be the team’s power bat in the middle of the lineup.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru