There’s no need to carve out a new face of the Patriots defense, as the anchor of the front line will remain planted at Gillette Stadium. Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork agreed to a new contract yesterday, according to a source. It’s not yet clear how much the team will save under the terms of the new, complicated deal that is worth a maximum of $8 million in 2014, including $3 million in guaranteed money. An option clause could make the contract worth $22.5 million over three seasons, which would keep Wilfork in a Patriots uniform through 2016. Wilfork was set to enter the final season of his five-year, $40 million contract, but the $11.6 million cap hit led to this round of negotiations, particularly as the 32-year-old comes off a torn Achilles tendon. Wilfork could have earned a max of $8.1 million in 2014, so the difference doesn’t appear too far off with the new contract. However, the Patriots are more concerned about the cap savings, which won’t be known until the full structure of the contract is unveiled, including his signing bonus, earnable bonuses and base salary. For instance, the $8 million max could include options based on playing time that weren’t reached in 2013 due to Wilfork’s Week 4 injury, so that bonus money wouldn’t count against the cap. It all plays a part in the complex formula that determines a cap figure. Most importantly, Wilfork and the Patriots salvaged a relationship that had been on the rocks. The Herald reported Wilfork collected his belongings and ripped the nameplate off his locker at Gillette Stadium after angrily turning down the proposed pay cut. After 10 years and a feisty round of contract negotiations in 2010, it was worth wondering how much more the two sides could sustain, but they reached the peace yesterday.
Vince Wilfork restructures Patriots career
Boston Herald | Mar 28