It’s been nearly two weeks since it was first reported that Vince Wilfork had requested his release from the Patriots, and Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com now has some details on the conversation that apparently led to that request. According to Curran, the Pats wanted to convert Wilfork’s $7.5MM base salary into a figure that was attainable through playing time incentives.
Because Wilfork missed nearly all of the 2013 season, those incentives would be considered not likely to be earned, which would wipe them from the team’s cap, so it’s easy to see the Pats’ motives. Even though the deal would have included some form of extension, it’s not hard to see why Wilfork would be hesitant — he’s coming off a torn Achilles, so an incentive-laden deal would put a significant amount of pressure on him to stay on the field following a lengthy recovery.
Here’s more on Wilfork and the Pats:
- CSNNE’s Curran and ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss each examined recent comments made by Wilfork, owner Robert Kraft, and head coach Bill Belichick, surmising that the Wilfork situation may still be salvageable.
- Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who initially reported that the veteran defensive lineman had asked to be cut, also reports (Twitter links) that there’s “slight optimism” on the Wilfork front. According to Rapoport, there are two parts to mending the fences: Making Wilfork feel wanted, and then working out his contract situation. Kraft has spoken to the 32-year-old, making progress on re-recruitment, but the contract still must be addressed.
- The Patriots were one of four teams mentioned as being in the mix for Maurice Jones-Drew yesterday, but a source tells CSNNE’s Curran that the Pats haven’t been in contact with the veteran running back.
- Kraft tells Ron Borges of the Boston Herald that the Patriots won’t be signing free agent wide receiver Kenny Britt. Britt is believed to still be weighing his options, and John Keim of ESPN.com tweets that the Redskins remain in the mix for him.