The Pats will place the tag on Welker by Monday afternoon's deadline barring a last-minute change of heart by the team, according to The Boston Globe's Shalise Manza Young.
The two sides aren't close to reaching an agreement on a long-term deal, so franchising Welker seems like the logical thing for New England to do, as it will keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent and give the Patriots exclusive negotiating rights with the veteran wideout.
The exact franchise number for this year has yet to be released by the NFL, but it's reportedly expected to be around $9.4 million. Teams have until 3:59 p.m. on Monday to designate a franchise player — although they are not required to do so. So far, 11 teams have done so.