Big Defensive Tackle Vince Wilfork has come to the end of his initial 6 year deal with the New England Patriots and now they will have to stump up some big bucks to prevent him from pulling on a different jersey in the 2010-11 season.
The Patriots have a habit of not paying the big money but for their fans losing Wilfork would be a concern especially given he led the league in tackles from his position and from what I saw of them this year the defense looked a lot less menacing than in previous years. Losing such a key player could in my opinion threaten New England’s position as team to beat in the improving AFC East where Miami and the NY Jets are fast improving.
The Patriots do have the option of slapping the Franchise tag on him, but that will not please a player of Wilfork’s calibre and would only be a stop gap measure as he would still be free to walk after one more season.
My advice to the Patriots would be, make the call and give him a 3 year deal which should be enough time for the younger players they have coming through to mature and learn from his experience and leadership.
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- Vince Wilfork says he’d be irked if New England Patriots franchise him (sports.espn.go.com)