Vince Wilfork: Franchise Tag Would Be a ‘Slap in the Face’


Vince Wilfork: Franchise Tag Would Be a 'Slap in the Face' As if watching Peyton Manning and the Colts capture another AFC title over the weekend wasn’t hard enough, Patriots fans are now witnessing defensive tackle Vince Wilfork get more and more upset with regard to his lingering status.

The veteran lineman can become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, six years after he signed his rookie contract. The 2004 first rounder can also get slapped with the Patriots’ franchise tag — a title he’d rather not have, to say the least.

“I did honor my six-year deal. Now, that six-year deal is up. It?s time for me to move forward, with the Patriots or not with the Patriots,” Wilfork told WEEI on Wednesday. “[A franchise tag] is decent money for most people out there. What I do, it?s okay. But I don?t look at myself as an okay player. Like I said, it?s just basically a slap in my face and it?s insulting to me to tell me I?m an okay player.”

in 13 games in 2009, the former Miami Hurricane tallied 43 total tackles and no sacks but managed to cause his first career forced fumble. In 90 career games since joining New England, Wilfork has 303 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 11 passes defensed and is considered one of the game’s ultimate trench clogs.

“I want a long-term deal or I want to be free. Point blank. That?s how I?m looking at it, that?s how my family is looking at it. … There?s a short window of opportunity for me to make the kind of money I want to make,” said Wilfork. “I?m not selling my family short and I?m definitely not selling myself short just to stay back and to win and to be part of a great organization. Winning is a big part of sports, but a lot of teams win. A lot of teams win. So we?ll see. We?ll see. I will do what?s best for my family. But I definitely will not sell myself short of my ability. Not at all.”

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