BOSTON (CBS) – During a week four game against the Atlanta Falcons in 2013, Vince Wilfork tore his Achilles tendon, prematurely ending his season.
Due $11.6 million this upcoming season, the Patriots reportedly approached the 32-year-old defensive tackle recently to restructure his contract. Angry, Wilfork requested his release from the team two weeks ago.
On Tuesday, Scott Zolak and Mike Flynn talked about the tricky situation.
On Monday at the owners meetings in Florida, Robert Kraft called Wilfork one of his personal favorites over the years, comparing him to Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown and Kevin Faulk.
“We have to work through and I’m still not giving up hope that he’ll be part of our team next year,” Kraft said on Wilfork.
Mike Flynn, who was in for Andy Gresh, believes Kraft needs to be more up front about the situation with Wilfork. While Flynn agrees that Kraft wants Wilfork back, he thinks that Kraft needs to be truthful and up front that he wants Wilfork back at the right price.
“I think Bob Kraft wants him back,” Flynn said. “But he should just say, ‘Listen, I want him back. He’s a great player, he is a New England Patriot if he takes a deal. He’ll be here if he takes a deal.’ He needs to take a deal to be back, end of story. It’s not, come back, win-win situation. There is no win-win situation.”
Flynn thinks Wilfork is angry because he fought hard for his contract, waiting until his seventh year to get his second contract, plays well and has watched while others get paid early, like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
Scott Zolak sees the situation as unfortunate, knowing Wilfork is a good player that means a lot to the Patriots and fans. Zo, however, sees the other, dreaded side of the NFL: the business side.
“These things happen,” Zolak said. “They do. It’s a business. Vince and his wife know it’s a business.”
Hardy later joined in on the conversation and disagreed with Flynn, stating that he felt the Patriots were in the right to try and lower Wilfork’s cap number after an injury. Flynn stood by his stance, saying that Wilfork didn’t need to give anything up after fighting so hard through play and for his second contract.
Zo summed up the argument nicely by stating the two sides to the Wilfork situation – listen below for the full discussion: