Well, the second part is correct. Wilfork is looking to get paid, and sort out where he’ll be over the next few years.
“That’s the one thing you play for, long-term security,” Wilfork told me after today’s AFC practice. “That’s something we’re trying to get. I don’t want to be playing with one-year deals and franchise tags, because I’ll be right back at the same point I am right now. We’ll see. It’s a game right now.
“No,” he responded. “Not at all.”
There’s a lot posturing going on right now, but I’m really not sure how much it amounts to. The fact is, the two sides, the Patriots and Wilfork’s people, have yet to talk. And they haven’t talked for a while. That’s not a good sign, of course. But it really isn’t a bad sign either … There are still some six weeks until free agency starts.
“Ever since the season started, we haven’t been talking,” Wilfork said. “We said we were gonna start back talking at the end of the season, so I’m pretty sure I’ll get a phone call sooner than later about what direction we’re going to go in, and talk. When that happens, it happens. I’m just relaxing right now.”
Wilfork has gotten no indication on when exactly things will pick up.
But the Pro Bowl’s been enough to take the off-field stuff off his mind.
“We’re just playing the waiting game — sitting here and waiting — and that’s all we have to do,” Wilfork said. “Something will get done sooner or later, because it has to get done. I don’t know what it’s going to be. Whatever it is, we’ll move on and approach it the right way. Right now, we’re down here having fun, enjoying ourselves, and that’s the last thing on my mind, being worried or stressed out about by contract situation.”
As for public perception, he doesn’t seemed to concerned about the criticism.
After all, this is a business, and sometimes, in the sports business, feelings get hurt. He can’t worry about that now.
“I don’t care about the heat I’m taking,” Wilfork said. “I did everything I could possibly do. I played my six years, and however they want to look at me, they look at me. But it doesn’t take away the fact that when I stepped on that field, I gave the organization everything I had. I don’t care about taking the heat with what’s going on back there — I did what I had to do.
“I honored my contract, I’m at the end of my contract. They can say what they want to say.”
Wilfork continued … “I did my part. I played my six years, I didn’t sit out anything that was mandatory, I played all six years. That’s what I did, and if I had it all to do over again, whatever I signed for, I’ll play. That was six years and I played six years, and those years are up.”
And now the rest of us join Wilfork … We’re all playing the waiting game on this one.