Wes Welker, Cliff Avril among star players stuck on tag


So Franchise Tag Day is all done. The cake has been eaten. The streamers and ceremonial goats can be put into storage for another year.

Just this morning, we ranked the remaining 12 franchise tag players without a deal in order of how likely they were to receive a long-term contract. No. 1 (Matt Forte), No. 2 (Josh Scobee), and No. 4 (Ray Rice) all got paid. Mike Nugent disappointed us like he once disappointed Herm Edwards.

So where do things stand with the remaining nine players?

Six already have signed their franchise tenders. New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker seems more likely than ever to be a free agent in 2013. San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson, Kansas City Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe and Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril remain unsigned.

Avril has indicated he might show up late for training camp. NFL.com and NFL Network's Albert Breer reports Detroit's final offer to Avril was three years for $30 million with $20 million guaranteed. That's a fair offer, although it's no surprise Avril turned it down. If he's healthy and productive in 2012, he should get more on the open market. Avril is betting on himself.

Bowe and Goldson haven't indicated if they will show up late for camp. They can skip the start of camp without any punishment because they are unsigned, so it wouldn't be a surprise if they stayed home while their teammates handled the dog days of camp.

The best news about Franchise Tag being over is that we're one day closer to training camp.