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Patriots announce Welker signing

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The New England Patriots have announced that Wes Welker has signed a franchise tender contract.

The team's announcement comes about a week after Welker posted on his Twitter account that he inked the $9.5 million deal that comes with being the team's designated franchise player.

The Patriots also announced the signing of sixth-round draft choice Nate Ebner, a defensive back from Ohio State. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Welker, who has earned four straight Pro Bowl selections, leads the NFL with 554 receptions since joining the Patriots in 2007.

He led the NFL with 122 receptions and finished second in the NFL in with a franchise-record 1,569 yards receiving in 2011.

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