But now that several days have gone by and he’s still a member of the team it’s clear what’s going on here: negotiating.
Ben Volin of the Boston Globe came on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Tuesday morning to discuss the latest in the Patriots-Wilfork staring match.
“At first it was pretty jarring to see and everybody came to the foregone conclusion that he played his last game as a New England Patriot, but I just think [asking to be released] is a negotiating tactic on his side. I think the Patriots would still rather have Vince on the team than cut him, they just can’t have him on the team at an $11.6 million cap number.
“This is Wilfork trying to play his hand a little bit, force the issue and maybe make the Patriots increase their offer. I ultimately think that the two sides are gonna come to an agreement. Cooler heads will prevail and they’ll find a way to bring Vince back even though he asked for a release. I still think he wants to come back, but this is just part of negotiating.”
The discussion then shifted to the free agents the Patriots have signed and brought in for visits. Among the visitors is the troubled, but very talented, receiver in Kenny Britt. Britt has had nine run-ins with law enforcement since being drafted in 2009 and comes with a great deal of red flags.
Volin says he was “surprised” to hear Britt was coming in for a visit, but added, “It’s the NFL and it’s all about winning and winning now. If he can sign a favorable contract and help you win a Super Bowl then it’s worth it. He could be a good low cost option, plus he’s a Rutgers guy.”
With Julian Edelman back and the signing of Brandon LaFell, if the Patriots were to sign Britt there would be a big logjam at the receiver position. If that’s the case, Volin predicts Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce will be sent packing.
“Tom Brady is 36-years-old and his window is closing so you have to get after it. Thompkins and Boyce might be nice prospects but there’s no time to wait around. They need finished products. There’s no time to wait on the kids anymore.”
Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested for four felonies this week including driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. Volin called on commissioner Roger Goodell to make an example out of Irsay for his actions under the league’s personal conduct policy.
“Goodell has to come down on Irsay pretty hard because Roger Goodell has established his reputation as the crime-and-punishment commissioner, so he’s got to suspend Jim Irsay indefinitely and keep him away for awhile. You feel bad for the guy because he needs help, but he has to stay away from the facility. You have to fine him and the team a significant amount – at least six figures. Then the question is do you hurt the team too and dock them a draft pick? Multiple draft picks? I think they probably should, maybe a third round pick and a big fine for the organization as well. If Roger Goodell doesn’t come down big on Jim Irsay there’s going to be hell to pay from the players, media and public perception.”
Listen below for the full discussion: