Vince Wilfork is walking out that door. Or at the very least, the five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle has told the Patriots he wants out. That was the message provided by several reports yesterday. Given Big Vince is 32, a large man trying to come back from a torn Achilles, and an owner of a $11.6 million salary cap hit this season, it’s not outlandish to think the Pats wouldn’t grant his alleged wish and release him. Hey, they might ultimately part ways with him simply because it gives them some much-needed financial breathing space. Taking sentiment out of the equation, which is something the Pats are very good at doing, such a move makes cold, hard business sense. So if Wilfork remains unwilling to take a pay cut, or extend his deal to gain cap relief, which has been claimed by sources in various reports, he could very well be walking out that door. Since the Pats are on a roll, let’s keep proactive. Just like losing Aqib Talib and gaining Darrelle Revis, they have an opportunity here to turn a negative into a positive. Assuming Wilfork is turned loose, the Pats can’t just sit by idly and hope their reserves cover his space. While Chris Jones, Sealver Siliga and Joe Vellano had some nice moments this past season filling in for the big guy, they still didn’t provide the same punch as a healthy Wilfork in the middle of the defensive line. In case anyone’s forgotten, Wilfork is a beast up front, whether it’s stuffing the run, or taking on a pair of blockers during passing downs, which allows more room for the pass rushers to break free. He’s been pushing the pocket for the past decade. The Patriots missed that element, along with being stout at the point of attack, when he went down to injury last season in Game 4 against the Falcons.
If Vince Wilfork goes, Pats better fill void
Boston Herald | Mar 14