August 23, 2009
Wilfork's Future Still in Doubt
BY: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
It appears that the Patriots and Vince Wilfork aren't any closer to getting a contract extension done, and one has to wonder if Wilfork's future in may now be in doubt.
Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe reported on Sunday that when asked if any of the contract offers he has received so far were enough to give him a reason to believe that something could eventually get done, the veteran defensive lineman offered up a simple "No".
Recently owner Robert Kraft talked about a lot of the uncertainty of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2010. It appeared at the time that was the reason why veterans here in New England weren't seeing contract extensions.
"We don't know what the rules will be and we don't want to put ourselves in a position where we could be penalized for making poor decisions now when we don't know what the rules are," Kraft said a few weeks ago. "No one knows, we don't know. What could happen is we don't have any agreement."
As a result, there have yet to be any extensions for many of the veterans, with quite a few players in a "contract year" heading into this season. Richard Seymour, Stephen Neal, Nick Kaczur, Ben Watson, Alex Smith, Jarvis Green, David Thomas, Kevin Faulk, Tedy Bruschi, Leigh Bodden, Logan Mankins, Russ Hochstein, Stephen Goskowski join Wilfork as guys who's futures are in question with their deals set to end at the end of this year.
While we've yet to hear from any of those other names, Wilfork has made it clear that Kraft's reasoning isn't sitting well, and he's not buying into it.
"Not at all," he told the Globe when asked about it. "There are 31 other teams out there and a lot of them are making moves. They're in the same situation that we're in. I understand what he's saying, but at the same token, it's not stopping the other teams from making the moves and what they have to do.
"Trust me, I understand where they are coming from. We have a lot of guys on this team that are going to [have contracts expire after the season] that are pretty good players. I know that is pretty tough for [the team]. At the same time, the labor situation is all over the NFL.
"I see 31 other teams out there, and I see deals done all the time. So when you come and talk to me about the uncertainty of the future of the NFL, I understand what you are saying. But there are 31 other teams out there, guys getting locked up. You have guys out there getting contracts done. It's not like nobody is getting contracts done.
"I see both sides. I can truly sit here and say ‘I see where the organization is coming from' but at the same time, they see what I'm seeing, other teams are getting deals done also."
Needless to say things aren't looking too good right now. It's amazing where this whole situation has gone since back in April when it appeared a deal was going to get done. We'll have to wait to see how the league's labor situation unfolds, and what effect it will have here in New England. Not to mention who will be the next Patriot player to speak out and voice their displeasure on this topic to the media.
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