As the Patriots continue trying to clear salary cap space, there are likely some deals that will need to be reworked and it sounds like New England may be trying to do just that with one of their top players.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported on Wednesday that the Patriots have had discussions with Vince Wilfork on a potential contract extension, which will hopefully help them lower his $11.6 million cap number and give New England a little more financial wiggle room.
Wilfork is coming off of a tough year after suffering a season ending Achilles injury, which he suffered less than five minutes into the team’s win over Atlanta in week four and sidelined him for the rest of 2013. Unfortunately to make matters worse, the Patriots lost Tommy Kelly shortly after, which really hurt the interior part of New England’s defense and affected them throughout the remainder of the year.
It’s hard to know just yet the type of player Wilfork will be when he returns this season, but most fans are hopeful he’ll be able to still be a factor and hopefully help them be more effective inside than they were after he went down. Wilfork has been a staple on this defense since the team selected him in the first round (21st overall) back in 2004, and he’s a fan favorite and very active in the community off the field.
He spent a lot of time down the stretch last year still attending games and was there actively trying to help out his teammates on the sidelines, which is unusual for players who are out for the year. He’s well respected in the locker room and obviously represents the type of player this organization appreciates, so the fact the two sides were discussing an extension is certainly good news. Hopefully something can get done because it’s hard not to feel as though Wilfork can still be productive in their defense.
And if he can’t be as dominant as he once was, at least they’ll have some money to bring in some guys to help out.