Wilfork ready to jump ship, asks for release

Defensive Tackle | Vince Wilfork

New England Patriots fans exalted when word came down that they had inked All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis to a one-year, $12 million deal on Wednesday. On Thursday reports surfaced that long-time defensive tackle Vince Wilfork requested his release from the team after discussions to restructure his contract broke down.

The New England Patriots may have acquired a future defensive captain in cornerback Darrelle Revis, but the team's most respected leader likely won't be there to see it.

Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, a 10-year veteran and a career-long Patriot, requested the team release him from his contract Thursday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Wilfork is heading into the final year of his five-year deal signed back in 2010 and is slated to make $7.5 million.

As it stands, New England will owe $11.6 million against the cap for Wilfork this season if he remains on the roster, likely the main reason the team attempted to renegotiate his contract.

According to Adam Schefter, Wilfork wants nothing of it and is willing to test the market, instead.

Wilfork will be 33 before the season is over and is coming off season-ending Achilles injury, conceivably the the background issues behind New England's urge to restructure. The timing, particularly given the team's hesitancy toward shelling out large contracts in the past, certainly doesn't help Bill Belichick's reputation with other veterans, especially after agreeing to such a large deal with Revis.

If released, it will be interesting to see how much demand is out there for the five-time Pro Bowler and what type of deal he can garner on the open market. What may be even more interesting is how this move affects the overall chemistry in the Patriots' locker room.

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