Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork came into this offseason with a high cap number, as well as the knowledge that his ability moving forward after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury might be questioned by those who wondered how he’d bounce back.
That was a recipe for a difficult scenario, and on Thursday the outcome came to fruition after, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the long-time nose tackle asked the Patriots for his release.
No details have emerged behind the move just yet, but it likely comes due to the two sides possibly being unable to agree to terms to restructure his deal and lower his $11.6 cap number, as well as potentially having to accept a lower salary than the $7.5 million he was due this season.
The former 1st round pick back in 2004 (21st overall) has spent all 10 seasons with New England, having been a key part of two Super Bowl championships and is a leader in the locker room, so this likely will come as just as big of a surprise to his teammates and the fans who enjoyed watching him. It also potentially leaves quarterback Tom Brady as the lone player left who has won a title for the Patriots.
The 32-year old was entering the last season of the five-year, $40 million contract he signed back in 2010. Unfortunately it appears unless something changes, he may not finish it here and if released, he’ll be a free agent.