Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Million Dollar Babies

My opinion on the Wilfork situation...
     There's a lot of buzz right now about Vince Wilfork's impending contract. The six-year rookie deal he signed is up and the pro-bowl defensive tackle is looking for a long-term lucrative deal or a ticket out of New England. Obviously, Wilfork is exceptional at his job and is an integral part of the Patriot's defense. Losing him would be a huge blow. However, I can't help but be critical of the big man's greed. If the Patriots' placed the franchise tag on Wilfork, which they are expected to do, Wilfork would be set to earn 7 million dollars. This is the average of the top 5 players at this position and would be good for one year. With the strong possibility of an uncapped year next year and no football in 2011, the franchise tag would be the smartest move for the Patriots. However, Wilfork said he would consider this an insult. Wilfork told WEEI last week, ""[The franchise tag] is decent money for most people out there. What I do, it's OK...But I don't look at myself as an OK player. Like I said, it's just basically a slap in my face and an insult to me to basically tell me I'm an OK player." 7 million dollars is much more than the 2.2 million he makes now and realistically is a lot of money. Most people would kill to make that much in a year. Brady brought up a good point when asked about his own contract, "we’re so fortunate to be playing. I think we’re way overpaid as it is; all of us. We get to go play football for a living." Wilfork cited that he needed to take care of his family. I don't think 7 million would in any way keep him from doing this.
     However, it's not just money that is the issue - its long term security. This is probably the main reason Wilfork is so concerned about the franchise tag. It's only a one year deal. On this subject, I agree with Vince. A long term deal would not only help Wilfork but would also benefit the Patriots. Wilfork is a bright spot in a shady defense. His loss would severely detriment the Pats' chances for a Super Bowl next year and beyond. Furthermore, the Pats have enough to worry about with a lack of pass rush and wide receivers. Losing Wilfork could distract them from cleaning up these areas as they'd have another spot to fill.
     With the loss of Seymour and the likely letting go of Adalius Thomas, the Patriots could have enough money to give Wilfork more than the franchise tag and hopefully get him set in a Patriots uniform for at least the next four years. Though I believe Wilfork should be less concerned with how many millions of dollars he earns, the same could be said for a lot of NFL players. Not everyone can be as realistic as Brady and since Wilfork is so important to this team, I say give  him what he wants.

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