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Welker, Bowe, several kickers get franchise tags before deadline
NEW YORK (AP) ' All-Pro Wes Welker of the Patriots and fellow wide receiver Dwayne Bowe of the Chiefs were given franchise tags just before Monday's NFL deadline.
Welker and Bowe each will earn about $9.5 million for 2012, which is the average of the five highest-paid players at the position.
Also tagged Monday were Titans safety Michael Griffin, Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril, and several kickers: Giants punter Steve Weatherford, Denver placekicker Doug Prater, Tampa Bay placekicker Connor Barth, and Jacksonville placekicker Josh Scobee.
Among those previously tagged were Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Ravens running back Ray Rice, and Bears running back Matt Forte.
Free agency begins on March 13.