Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork is in Miami for the Pro Bowl. As he has in the past, Wilfork, a Boyton Beach, Fla., native, let it be known to a Dolphins writer that he’s open to the idea of playing all of his games in Florida.
This time he expanded the field to include not only the Dolphins, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, saying playing in Florida would be “a dream come true.”
However, he also said “he would love to stay in New England.”
Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel caught up with Wilfork today and the big nose tackle continued his case for a new contract after being a good solider last year.
Wilfork said he has been trying to get a new contract with the Patriots for two years and said the current situation is “definitely not on me.”
“We’ve been waiting for two years,” Wilfork told Kelly. “Been trying to talk for two years. I did all the things I could do. Did all the right things to the point people questioned me why I did it. Why I was the good soldier. Why I was playing through pain and risking my career for one year. But I loved the game of football,” said Wilfork, who contributed 43 tackles and one forced fumbled during a 13 game season shortened by a knee injury. “I signed a six-year deal [as a rookie] when a lot of people weren’t. I played it out. I did the right thing and it’s time for me to move on. This is definitely not on me. We’ll see where it goes from here.”
It would be unlikely that the Patriots would ship Wilfork to a division
rival in Miami, which as Kelly points out is in the market for a nose
tackle because of the age and injury situation of Bill Parcells favorite Jason Ferguson.
However, Tampa Bay would offer an intriguing case. It’s highly unlikely that the Buccaneers would send the No. 3 overall pick to the Patriots, who probably wouldn’t want to pick that high anyways because of the cost. However, Tampa Bay does have 10 picks in the 2010 draft and has a pair of second-rounders. The Bucs also have a fifth-round pick they got from the Patriots for tight end Alex Smith, who was cut by New England coming out of the preseason.
The Patriots don’t have a fifth-round pick, as the one they acquired from Denver was sent to Oakland to complete the Derrick Burgess deal.
If the Patriots decided to trade Wilfork after franchising him, sending him to Tampa Bay for a package that includes the Buccaneers own second-round pick (No. 35 overall) and a fifth-rounder would make some sense.
Not sure that would be enough for Wilfork, but could be a starting point.