This news does not exactly come as a big surprise, but it is definitely worth noting. Welker was given the franchise tag designation by the Patriots in February and has yet to sign the tender that would pay him $9.5 million in 2012. Welker and the team would still like to work out a new contact, but various media outlets have reported that the sides haven't made any progress recently.
I'm not exactly concerned by this move. After all, Welker does not want to give up leverage in contract negotiations and would still very much like to work out a long term deal before training camp. In addition, while Welker has expressed a desire to work out a long term deal, he has not openly expressed a displeasure with the franchise tag designation.
Overall, this is certainly a story worth reporting in the Welker-Patriots contract saga, but it's not exactly groundbreaking or shocking. We'll get more of an indication of Welker's stance in negotiations when the team starts OTA's and mini-camps in May. For now, we wait.