One thing I've seen come up often as of late from peoples comments is 'the Raiders should get Wilfork'. My response to that would be, of course, who wouldn't want a dominant force at NT.
But then you'd have to think, why would the Patriots part with Wilfork?
Lets see, Wilfork is a 2004 First Round draft pick (#21 overall). Currently his cap number is $2.2 million for this upcoming year. He's been a durable player for the Patriots, as he's only missed THREE games in five years while being the anchor in the middle of a 3-4 defense, that's beastly.
He already won a Super Bowl, he's already been to a Pro-Bowl and he's been a 2nd Team All-Pro. This man has some accomplishments under his belt.
Too many positives to trade a 27yr old NT don't you think? Let's look at some of the negative points on being able to retain him. One being NE's contract situation with key players this upcoming off-season, the addition of Ron Brace and Wilforks behavior.
The Patriots have to pay Wilfork. He tried to get paid prior to this off-season and in usual Pats fashion, the team said no. They want to ride out his original rookie deal.
Logan Mankins, a former All-Pro and Pro-Bowl player is also 27yrs old and is due for a contract. Pressure on Pats O-Line to Protect a Rebuilt Brady.
Richard Seymour, a former 3x Super Bowl Champs, 3x All-Pro and 5x Pro-Bowl player is 29 and also looking for a contract. Seymour Likes His Situation.
They made a draft day trade with the Raiders where they switched 2nd Round picks and gave the Raiders a 4th and 6th Rounder.
That pick produced Ron Brace, a 6 '3" 330lb DT from Boston College. Brace is used to cloggings holes because that's what he did while playing alongside BJ Raji.
Other then the contracts they need to address is the 'dirty' play that comes with Wilfork. He's been fined for hitting J.P. Losman late, scuffling with Jason Witten, poking his finger in Brandon Jacobs facemask and for tackling Michael Turner via facemask in the playoffs.
They have to dish out money to pay Mankins, that's without question. They need to protect Tom Brady. Richard Seymour is still iffy. Seeing how after missing 7 games in 2007 he came back strong in 2008 with 8 sacks, his highest total since 2003, he might look for 'market' money instead of a 'home team discount'. Ron Brace could easily step in to clog holes for them in the future.
Will the Patriots let him go due to the contracts they'll pay out to others along with the addition of Brace? That's Patriot-like. After looking at the details around the situation it would actually make sense if they got rid of him. Better to get something instead of nothing.
Not to read too deep into a comment but as I was reading this article a comment caught my attention. Is Kraft leaving the door open for Wilfork to leave?
“I’m a big fan of Vince Wilfork, and unfortunately, the business part of this game is something that goes on every year with most teams,” said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “We’re lucky to have Vince. I hope he’s here for the long term. These things usually have a way of working themselves out.
What can the Raiders give up to get him? I dont feel that a 30yr old Derrick Burgess would get it done. Burgess is looking for one last 'big deal' after this season even though it'd be less then what Wilfork would demand.
Terdell Sands has been mentioned also. What would intice them to want him? He's a 6' 7" 335lb former 7th Round pick. He's played just like a guy who only played ONE year of college ball at Tennessee. He's got the size but is non-existant at times. Unless you ask Shane Lechler who was introduced to his fist.
How's about a draft pick? Now that the Raiders have a young core of guys through-out the offense and defensive-front seven I think we could do without a pick or two.
Perhaps they'll remember the bargain they got on Randy Moss and return the favor with Wilfork. Or maybe not.