Vince Wilfork played his heart out for the New England Patriots during the full-term of his six-year rookie contract. Now he feels like he has earned a long-term deal, which he certainly has done.
The problem is, the Patriots are notorious for not paying players for past performance. Unlike other teams, Bill Belichick and company are not going to hand out a lucrative contract to a player because he “earned it.” The Patriots are going to pay for future performance, not past.
Therein lies the question about Vince Wilfork. Is he in his prime or past his prime? Is his skill-set easily replaceable through free-agency or the 2010 NFL Draft? Is it true when Al Davis said that the Patriots would have preferred to trade Vince Wilfork instead of Richard Seymour for a 2011 1st rounder?
If the Patriots and Wilfork can’t reach a deal, they will place the franchise tag on him and probably trade him to Kansas City or Denver.
Our guess is that the Patriots will offer Vince a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of 3yr/$27 million with about $20 million guaranteed. We’d be willing to up it to 4yr/$34 million with about $22 million in guaranteed money.
Do we have a deal?