Vince Wilfork said he'd consider it "a slap in the face" if the Patriots place the franchise tag on him this offseason. Friday, he got some advice from a former Patriot who feels he was slapped.
"I don't think they care about you, in my opinion," former New England cornerback Asante Samuel said to Wilfork, via the Boston Globe. "They didn't care about me. So do what's best for you and your family."
Wilfork has expressed interest in negotiating a long-term contract with the Patriots, but signing with either the Miami Dolphins or Tampa Bay Buccaneers also is a desirable alternative. The 28-year-old defensive tackle is a Florida native and attended the University of Miami, and familiarity seems an important aspect of the equation to his family.
He is not, however, willing to quietly accept being franchised. According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, the franchise tag salary for defensive tackles this offseason is $7 million.
Samuel was franchised by the Patriots prior to the 2007 season. Part of the agreement stipulated that if New England won 12 games or Samuel played 60 percent of their defensive snaps, the team would not franchise him again the following offseason. The Patriots went 16-0, and Samuel was rewarded with a lucrative six-year deal from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Wilfork, however, appears to have run out of patience after waiting for two years to negotiate a long-term contract with the Pats. He wants financial security, he wants to know his future – and he wants to know those things now.
But to the Patriots – like most organizations — football is a business, and what’s in the best interest of the player is not always in the best interest of the team.
"The way [the Patriots] treat people is not something I agree with," Samuel said.
Neither will Wilfork, if the Patriots give him the Samuel treatment.