Wes Welker Signs $9.5M Franchise Tender

Many movie moments could symbolize Wes Welker‘s decision to sign his $9.5 million franchise tender Tuesday and return to the Patriots for the 2012-13 season. Perhaps the Hulk destroying enemy ships in The Avengers. Or Dean Portman showing up at halftime of the JV-Varsity game at the end of Mighty Ducks 3. Really, any clip of someone returning from somewhere and then going on a rampage would do.

But none could do it better than Randy Quaid in Independence Day:

Just pretend the spaceship is an opposing defense and the metaphor works perfectly. Kinda like Welker and Tom Brady.

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What Terrell Owens and Randy Moss Taught Chad Ochocinco

Whatever advice Terrell Owens and Randy Moss might be giving Chad Ochocinco, it can't be good. Thankfully, Ochocinco hasn't followed in their footsteps. (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/294058-nfl-all-decade-team-2000s)

(happy birthday to me!)

The oft-maligned and rarely used Chad Ochocinco told the Boston Herald Saturday that he’s often spoken with former Patriot Randy Moss and former Bengal Terrell Owens during this transition year to the Patriot way of life.

The move seemingly makes sense: all three players are what Ochocinco called “diva receivers;” Moss is a former Patriot who played a huge roll in their record-setting 2007-08 offense; Owens knows Ochocinco from their year together in Cincinnati. And considering Moss and Owens have played for a combined 10 different teams in 28 seasons, you’d have to figure they’d know a thing or two about learning new schemes, coaches and teammates.

But what specifically did those “diva receivers” tell Ochocinco? Here are my Top 10 pieces of advice from Moss and Owens to Ochocinco.

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In Defense of Ochocinco

Chad Ochocinco is averaging just 1.8 receptions and 27.2 yards per game this season. I couldn't care less. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Chad Ochocinco has nine catches, 136 receiving yards and no touchdowns in six games this season. These numbers are far and away the worst they’ve ever been for Ochocinco, who averaged five catches and 74 yards per game in his first 10 seasons. Ochocinco has given the Patriots virtually nothing as he takes his sweet time learning their offense.

I could not care less. I have absolutely no problem with Ochocinco, and I’m getting increasingly tired of all the Chad-bashing.

Ochocinco: Just the Fifth Receiving Option

Every team has a receiver who contributes less than the others. There has to be a fifth receiver. In years past, a tight end usually filled that role. Tom Brady knew this, so he either lived along the sidelines or used slot receivers to cover the middle of the field. Now, with the the Patriots’ Dynamic Duo of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, Brady has two huge targets to throw to in the flat. Gronkowski is too big and strong, and Hernandez is too quick. No defense has figured out how to shut one down without springing the other, and Hernandez’s speed let’s him double as a deep-threat.

Ochocinco doesn’t need to run the flat routes that older Patriots’ wide receivers had to because the Patriots’ tight ends match up better against opposing linebackers than Ochocinco ever could. Just remember: Hernandez is as tall as Ochocino with 50 extra pounds of muscle; Gronkowski is five inches taller and 70 pounds stronger.

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Patriots-Dolphins: Ranking Tom Brady’s Trips to Miami

The Patriots are 5-5 in Miami during the Tom Brady Era. Brady's best game came on Oct. 21, 2007, in which he passed for 354 yards and a whopping six touchdowns. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)

The 2011 New England Patriots season kicks off with a trip to Sun Life Stadium to play the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. The Patriots have played 10 games in Miami during the Tom Brady era (including the 2008 season in which Brady played just one game), so how could we not do a Top 10 as part of our pre-game festivities?

Here’s how the last 10 Patriots-Dolphins road games stack up against each other:

10. Dolphins 21, Patriots 0 – Dec. 10, 2006

The Patriots’ 2006 game in Miami was one of just two Patriots shutouts that Brady has ever played, and Brady went 12-for-25 for just 78 yards in this one. He threw no interceptions, but he fumbled the ball twice, one of which the Dolphins recovered. The Patriots fumbled away three possessions total. The offensive line also couldn’t stop the Dolphins’ elite pass-rush, allowing five sacks and keeping the Patriots offense from ever developing any rhythm. Future-Patriot Sammy Morris rushed for 123 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown that gave the Dolphins a three-possession lead with less than a quarter to play.

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