The New England Patriots aren’t out of the woods yet with Vince Wilfork and contract issues.
Wilfork happily will stay a Patriot in 2014, but the team has a big decision to make next March. Wilfork is owed a $4 million roster bonus on the first day of the 2015 league year under his new, extended contract, as detailed by ESPN.com.
If Wilfork plays well in 2014, it should be a no-brainer for the Patriots to keep the big nose tackle. If he underperforms or is injured again, however, Wilfork’s dream to retire as a Patriot might not come true, after all.
The Patriots initially saved $4.9 million against the salary cap by restructuring Wilfork’s deal, which now comes with a $1.3 million signing bonus and $1.3 million in guaranteed base salary. He can make $300,000 in a weight-clause incentive and $200,000 in an offseason-workout bonus.
Wilfork will earn $500,000 for the first game he’s on the 53-man roster and $87,500 for each game he’s active. Wilfork will make $500,000 for playing 50 percent of defensive snaps, $1.25 million for 60 percent, $2 million for 70 percent and $2.5 million if he plays 70 percent and the Patriots make the divisional round of the playoffs. He will make $500,000 if he plays 70 percent of defensive snaps and the team is top 10 in points allowed.
The maximum value on Wilfork’s contract in 2014 is $8 million.
Wilfork can earn up to $8.5 million in 2015 and $6.5 million in 2016 if the Patriots pick up his two-year option.
The Patriots are $7,805,703 under the salary cap, according to PatsCap.com.