NESN.com – “As soon as Wilfork tore his Achilles in Week 4 during the Patriots’ win over the Falcons, it was inevitable that something would have to be done with the big nose tackle’s contract in 2014. He was set to earn $11.6 million, which is too much for a 32-year-old.
The Patriots will save $8 million in cap room when they release Wilfork, and that’s valuable after signing cornerback Darrelle Revis to a big contract.
It wasn’t logical for the Patriots or Wilfork to agree to an extension. At Wilfork’s age and size, there is no guarantee that he will the same player after tearing his Achilles. It would be a risky proposition for the Patriots to extend Wilfork at a contract to his liking.
For Wilfork, it doesn’t make sense to agree to a pay cut if he thinks he’s 100-percent healthy and capable of being the same player he has been for 10 years. Wilfork had a fantastic season in 2012; he was an $11 million player that season. There’s a chance he’s not anymore, and the Patriots aren’t willing to take that risk.
When Wilfork is released, it will leave the Patriots with Sealver Siliga, Chris Jones, Joe Vellano, Tommy Kelly, Marcus Forston and Armond Armstead at defensive tackle. Siliga was very impressive for the Patriots in seven games with the Patriots last season. Whether that carries over to 2014 and beyond remains to be seen, but there was enough there for the Patriots to be impressed.
The Patriots will likely draft a big defensive tackle to compete with Siliga. They could also sign a player like B.J. Raji, Pat Sims or Terrence Cody, all of whom are available as free agents.”
It is a shame that one of the greatest players in New England Patriots history is gone. Wilfork helped the Patriots get to three Super Bowls and won Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 with the team. A fan favorite with great character and great personality will be missed. Patriot Nation would be far more distraught right now if the Patriots hadn’t signed Darrelle Revis last evening. A deal which has now been upgraded from 1 year to 2 years. It may sting to see Wilfork go by his own request, but the cap space it provides the team now offers numerous options in free agency. One can almost expect John Elway on the phone with Wilfork right now trying to get him to come to Denver.