Just days after slapping Vince Wilfork with the franchise tag, it appears that the Patriots may be close to a deal with their prized nose tackle.

According to Boston.com, Patriots owner Robert Kraft told a group of reporters that he is optimistic that the team will be able to come to terms on an extension with Wilfork.

"In business, you've got to prioritize," Kraft told the Web site. "We've got a budget. We want to develop and create a team that puts us in the best position to win. Vince was a priority, and we've worked very hard, and I think both sides have worked hard, and I think we're close, and I hope we close something."

Though Wilfork said earlier this month that being franchised would be like a "slap in the face," he should be quick to change his tune once the Patriots extend his contract — which could be imminent.

"In the end, he was our priority — our first priority," Kraft said. "We've got a number of other deals we've got to do, so we're going about building our team, and I hope in this process we get to close this out. I know he's a very important part of our team, and I think we've made an offer that hopefully can get it done."