Well it seems as if this is about to get ugly. A few weeks after asking for his release rather than restructuring his contract, Vince Wilfork is apparently done waiting on the Patriots to let him go.
According to the Boston Herald, the All-Pro not only requested to be released but that Wilfork also cleared out his locker following the teams initial request for him to restructure, and his stance on leaving the organization has not changed much since.
Following the initial discussion between the Patriots and Vince Wilfork over altering his contract, the nose tackle not only asked for his release, but also made a stop in the locker room to grab his belongings before walking out of Gillette Stadium.
According to two sources, an angry Wilfork ripped his name plate off his locker stall, and cleaned out his locker.
Wilfork is a former All-Pro Defensive Tackle for the Patriots, but is 31-years old and will be coming back from a ruptured Achilles this season. Anyone who has followed Kobe in the past year knows how tough that is to do, now imagine a 325 pound lineman coming back from that at a high level.
The Patriots clearly are worried about how much of an impact Wilfork will have, and after adding Darrelle Revis among others this off-season, would like to soften their salary cap hit. Wilfork’s contract would count as $11.5 million against New England’s cap, and the Pats seem unwilling to take on that cost.
While Patriots owner Bob Kraft has said he would like for Wilfork to restructure his deal and remain with New England, that seems to be more and more unlikely as the days go by. Kraft said that he understands the team and Wilfork must separate their personal feelings from the business-side of negotiations.
“You know, for him, he’s making some individual decisions. For us, we have to put a team together of over 50 people,” Kraft said. “We have a salary cap. In the end, it’s about both parties feeling it’s a good transaction and it’s a win-win. I think that’s what we’re both shooting for.”
It will be interesting to see if the Patriots can convince Wilfork to restructure and remain a fixture on the team. If not, there will be no shortage of teams looking to pick him up when he hits the open market.
What do you guys think? Will Wilfork restructure or is he as good as gone? Sound off in the comments or hit me up on Twitter and let me know!