Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke on the progress being made re-signing Vince Wilfork and Randy Moss’s comment that the Patriots “Don’t pay.” He also gave a slight indication on how the Patriots will handle spending in the upcoming uncapped year.
Kraft provided some very positive comments on the progress of Wilfork’s contract. Here’s what he said:
“We have a budget we’ve set for next year. Our first priority is with Vince. I think we’ve had some positive discussions. We’re very close. I hope we can conclude it soon.
Look, we love Vince. He and [his wife] Bianca have been a special part of our franchise. We love having him here. I hope he’s here for a long time to come. We’re trying to do everything we can to make that happen.”
That is very good news for Pats fans. It appears that a deal will be done relatively soon, and MUST be done, as everything that the Patriots do depends on first figuring out how much money Vince will be getting. One rumor I heard on “The Big Show” on WEEI Sports radio today is that the Patriots have offered Vince anywhere between $22 million and $25 million in guarantees. Not sure that that’s going to be enough for Vince, but they’re on the right track. Keep in mind, that is just a rumor right now.
As far as Moss’s, “The Patriots don’t pay,” comment, Kraft fired right back:
“Do you know how much he [Moss] has made over the last two years? Over $20 million, so I don’t think we don’t pay for quality and I think you can see that.”
Ouch, but he’s right. I’m not sure Moss has much to personally gripe about, but Kraft insisted that there’s no hard feelings.
“He’s a smart business man too. He’s getting himself positioned.”
Positioned for one last big payday it seems, and that might not be a bad thing. Money can be a big motivator for professional athletes, and Moss is going to need to come out and show that he can still get it done well enough to get one more big contract. A motivated Moss is most definitely a good thing for the Patriots and Tom Brady.
Lastly, Kraft said that the Patriots, “have a budget we’ve set for next year.” It seems that the Patriots will have their own “salary cap” and will not be wild spenders out in free agency. While not exciting, it is a sound business plan, something that makes the Patriots one of the top franchises in sports. The Steelers have also indicated that they will be doing something similar.
Stay tuned for updates on Wilfork. My guess right now is that a deal will be done by March 5, the start of free agency.