Patriots Will Not Exercise Option On Wilfork

The Patriots have decided not to exercise their option on Vince Wilfork for the 2015 season, saving themselves eight million dollars in cap space but also letting a team leader and contributor walk away. Wilfork may return at a smaller number, but chances are he has played his last game as a Patriot.

The New England Patriots will not be exercising their 2015 contract option for Vince Wilfork, making the veteran nose tackle an unrestricted free agent for the first in his career. Unlike last year when the Patriots and Wilfork worked out a new deal, there is a good chance that Vince will not return. Teams looking to run the 3-4 exclusively will offer larger deals than the Patriots and it'll be tough for Wilfork to turn that down, even if it's just a one year deal.

Wilfork returned from a torn Achilles tendon in 2013 to start all 16 games in '14. Wilfork finished the season with 28 solo tackles, 25 assisted tackles, one interception and two passes defenses. Wilfork was still able to keep blockers off of the New England linebackers and occupy double teams at times, but he isn't the same presence he was from 2004 to 2012 and it's time for the Patriots to move on.

Assuming Wilfork is done as a Patriot, he finishes with an impressive portfolio. Wilfork started 148 of 158 possible games, with the ten games he didn't start coming in his rookie year. Big Vince finishes with 355 solo tackles, 167 assisted tackles, 16 sacks, three interceptions, 23 passes defended, five forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, one touchdown, and two Super Bowl rings.

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