Monday, March 24, 2014

Kraft not ready to cut ties with Wilfork just yet


Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork has been with the New England Patriots for a decade. Owner Robert Kraft seems intent to make that at least 11 years, if not more.

Talking with reporters at the NFL's annual meeting in Orlando, Kraft was asked about impending plans with the veteran following his request to be released. Kraft doesn't seem ready to grant that request just yet.

"We have to work through it and I'm still not giving up hope that he'd be part of our team next year," he said, via Mike Reiss of "I very much hope we get it done and I believe he very much would like to do it as well. We'll see what happens."

Reiss also pointed out that Wilfork's name was brought up in the same light as Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown, both career-long Patriots. Wilfork is the team's most respected captain on the field, and it wouldn't be surprising if Kraft would like him to finish his career as such. 

Releasing the 32-year-old would free up a large chunk of cap space for New England, which is what sparked the current feud with the team's Pro Bowl lineman. Kraft and Co. would like to see Wilfork restructure his current contract given his season-ending Achilles injury last year, while the veteran just wants what he's owed. 

The comments by Kraft could be sincere, or they could merely be some media posturing while the team ultimately works out an exit strategy. Either way, Wilfork's future in New England is likely to be solidified before the draft.

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