Wilfork Predicament Continues
Based on a report from Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork hasn’t inched any closer to re-signing with the Patriots, as he supposedly cleaned out his locker and withdrew his team name tag.
Wilfork was approached about restructuring his contract to afford more salary cap space for Patriots, the organization that the 32-year-old defensive tackle has been a part of since he was drafted out of the University of Miami in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston gained Robert Kraft’s perspective on the Wilfork dilemma. The Pats’ owner appeared to desperately want the veteran to remain and possibly retire in New England, placing him in the family of former model Patriots’ players.
“Going back over the last 20 years, we’ve had some pretty special people come through, and [Vince] is one of my personal favorites,” Kraft said Monday at the NFL’s owners meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, his first public remarks since Wilfork’s request. “I’m thinking of Tedy Bruschi and Matt Light and Kevin Faulk and Troy Brown ,they made their careers with us. I surely hope Vince will be with us next year.”
Kraft stated that he will not give up ‘hope’ for a resolution to the big man’s problems.
“In modern-day athletics, in pro sports, it’s a business as well as commitment to one another. We have to work through [this], and I’m still not giving up hope that he’ll be part of our team next year.”
For the Patriots’ front office and Bill Belichick, you have to ponder the importance of Wilfork to the 2014-15 championship intentions of the squad.
With a star-studded defensive backfield with Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, the Pats only glaring weakness on defense is the interior run-stopping defense. Wilfork’s departure would make it imperative for the Pats to acquire a defensive tackle out of free agency or the draft.
There has been a great deal of speculation, but Wilfork has been an excellent, “just do your job” Patriot through the years. Hopefully, the Pats can work out an agreement.