Vince Wilfork ‘pleased’ by 5-year, $40M deal

Vince Wilfork took a break from the family vacation, whipped out his cell phone and typed the words he’d been aching to write for more than a year. As soon as he hit the send button on his Twitter account, the public could share in his elation:

“We are pleased to say we will be here for MANY more years to come.”

The Patriots [team stats] locked up their defensive linchpin with a massive contract extension, making Wilfork the NFL’s highest-paid 3-4 nose tackle. It ended a year-long drama with Wilfork finally receiving the money and security he believes he deserves.

The two-time Pro Bowler agreed to a five-year deal worth $40 million with $25 million guaranteed. His signing bonus is $18 million, a source said, a front-loaded deal in an uncapped year.

The team that Randy Moss said “don’t pay,” did. The team with the rap for allowing its best players to walk, didn’t.

Wilfork said after the Pro Bowl that he would go on vacation and, “Whatever happens, happens.”

It all happened on the first day of free agency. The player owner Robert Kraft had called the team’s “first priority” was shown to be exactly that.
Wilfork celebrated by delivering his message to thousands of followers of the @Wilfork75 Twitter account. His wife, Bianca, sent an identical message on her account.

“Thanks to everyone who has supported us during our time here in New England it has meant a great deal to us,” Wilfork said. “With that being said we are pleased to say we will be here for MANY more years to come. My wife and I thank you and are getting back to our vacation now C ya in Foxboro soon.”

Wilfork dominated the news.

As he waited for a contract, the former first-round pick from Miami never held out or stopped playing. Despite injuries, he recorded 43 tackles in 2009 after accounting for 66 tackles and two sacks in 2008. Numbers may not explain his importance against the run.

Twice, a deal nearly was struck. In August, an agreement barely slipped away. And in early February, a deal almost was struck before it fell apart.

Wilfork had said assigning him the franchise tag would be a “slap in the face.”

Yet when he was extended the franchise tag two weeks ago, there were no barbs tossed, only bouquets.

In Indianapolis for the NFL combine, Kraft had indicated a deal was imminent.

“We’re very close,” Kraft said. “I hope we can conclude it soon. We love Vince. He and Bianca have been a special part of our franchise. We love having him here. I hope here’s here for a long time to come.”

Wilfork will be.

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