Wilfork Getting A New Deal?

New England Patriots nosetackle Vince Wilfork is one of the most underpaid defensive tackles in the league. With the Franchise number over $6 million for top defensive tackle in the league, paying Wilfork $800K seems wrong. News out of Florida is that a deal may be in the works. Maybe now, the Patriots realize keeping the big man happy is the smart thing to do.

Patriots DT Vince Wilfork is in the final year of his rookie deal and he's looking to hear back from the team regarding his future. After voicing disappointment at the lack of talks between the team and his agent recently, Wilfork was in better spirits this week.

Wilfork shares his improved outlook with the Boston Herald at Heath Evans charitable softball tournament in Jupiter FL

"We've been communicating back and forth," Wilfork told the Herald. "That's the only thing I wanted. I don't care if nothing moves. I just wanted to communicate, let them know that, ‘Hey, this is what we're thinking and this is what they're thinking.' All of that has been positive."

Wilfork is scheduled to earn $800,000 in 2009 the final year of a an $18.05 million deal he signed as a rookie. His cap charge is roughly $1.4 million.

Considering top nose tackle players can earn five times that amount, Wilfork is grossly underpaid for his contributions, and he knows it.

Being undervalued, even on a Patriots team renowned for being thrifty, doesn't sit well. Wilfork expressed that sentiment to the Boston Globe a little over a week ago.

"The ball is not in my court right now. Nothing has happened. No progress has been made. I thought maybe there would be some sort of move forward, but everything is at a standstill. I'm sure they'll do whatever they have to do. I have that last year, and I'm preparing to play and play well. It's not going to change me. But they know the longer it takes the more it costs."

New developments appear to support the theory of production translates into reward. Wilfork's optimism improved significantly since the Globe report, an indication that the team is moving toward a new deal with one of their top defenders.

“I’ve said from Day 1 that I wanted to enter the NFL as a New England Patriot and leave the NFL as a New England Patriot," Wilfork told the Herald. I’m sticking to my word and I don’t think that will change. I’m very happy, very positive and looking forward to the future.”

Wilfork was a first round pick (21st overall) of the Patriots in the 2004 NFL Draft.

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