BOSTON (CBS) — It’s been nearly two weeks since nose tackle Vince Wilfork reportedly requested his release from the New England Patriots, but he formally remains a member of the team.
New England head coach Bill Belichick was asked about the “contentious” situation around Wilfork at Tuesday’s AFC head coaches breakfast in Orlando, Florida, but offered little to reporters.
“I don’t really know the nature of your question, maybe that’s something you have to talk to Vince about,” said Belichick, declining to verify if Wilfork made such a request. “I’m not going to talk about anything with any of our specific players. I’m not going to get into that.”
“You need to talk to him about any of those statements, which I think you should verify first,” said Belichick.
Wilfork, who missed 12 games in 2013 after suffering an Achilles injury in Week 4, is scheduled to earn $7.5 million and will count as a $11.6 million hit against the salary cap in 2014.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft had nothing but good things to say about Wilfork at the NFL Meetings on Monday, and as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports, is “re-recruiting” the All Pro nose tackle.
“Going back over the last 20 years, we’ve had some pretty special people come through, and [Vince] is one of my personal favorites,” Kraft said Monday. “I’m thinking of Tedy Bruschi and Matt Light and Kevin Faulk and Troy Brown; they made their careers with us. I surely hope Vince will be with us next year.
“In modern-day athletics, in pro sports, it’s a business as well as commitment to one another. We have to work through [this], and I’m still not giving up hope that he’ll be part of our team next year,” said Kraft.
The Patriots reportedly approached Wilfork about a taking a pay-cut and working out an extension, but the veteran rejected that idea and has reportedly cleaned out his locker at Gillette Stadium.
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