What's Wilfork's value to the Patriots?

What's Wilfork's value to the Patriots?
April 25, 2014, 3:45 pm

Vince Wilfork is not leaving the Patriots after all.

That's a good thing - but just how good is it? Is Wilfork's value still as high in a league that has turned to the pass much more than the rush?

Tom E. Curran, Mike Giardi, and Phil Perry discuss what Wilfork means to the Patriots this season and going forward.

"I say it still has a lot of value," Giardi said. "All these people that talk about, 'Well the Patriots got to the AFC Championship game with Chris Jones and the hodgepodge [offensive line].' Look, bottom line is you need talent and Vince Wilfork is a talented football player. How much does he have left? We're going to find out. But if the Vince Wilfork before the injury comes back and plays at the level you're accustomed to playing, that's a guy that can be a difference-maker for you. I don't care how fat he is. If he's 350 [pounds], if he can penetrate, if he can take up two blockers, that's what you need in this league."

Curran agrees that Wilfork still has value to the Patriots, and all you have to do is see how some teams still managed to run all over the Patriots even if in general the pass is now a favorite across the league.

"I think if you look at Vince and that position in the NFL," Curran said, "it's critical and we saw it last year because when Tommy Kelly and Vince weren't in there the Denver Broncos came in and ran for 280 or whatever it was Knowshon Moreno had 229 on the ground. The Patriots needed an overtime mistake by Wes Welker to win that game . . . so it's critical, you need it, you can't stop-gap it with hardworker, try-hard guys, you have to get the 'planet people' that Bill Parcells talked about."