Wilfork holding no grudges against Patriots

Wilfork holding no grudges against Patriots
June 19, 2014, 2:00 pm
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FOXBORO -- Vince Wilfork's contract negotiations with the Patriots this offseason weren't without incident. But he insisted on Thursday that he's not upset, and that he didn't take the situation personally.

"I'm here," Wilfork said. "That's a dead issue. I'm here for a reason. If I didn't believe in the things that was brought to me, I wouldn't have signed it. I'm here. There's a reason that I'm here. I'm not upset, I'm not holding no type of grudge. Business is business and everybody handle business in different ways."

Wilfork suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in September and in 2014 was scheduled to go into the final year of a five-year $40 million deal that would have paid him $11.6 million with $3.6 million guaranteed.

When the Patriots approached Wilfork to restructure his deal, he reportedly requested to be released and made a free agent.

Eventually cooler heads prevailed. Wilfork -- who has been participating in most drills with his teammates during mini-camp -- decided that New England was the best place for him and his family, and he agreed to a three-year $23 million deal with the team that drafted him in 2004.

Soon after signing, Wilfork posted a message to his fans on Facebook:

“It’s been hard to remain quiet and let things take its course but it has been the best thing to do. Negotiations are never easy especially when you have a 10 year history with a team and more importantly relationships. For those who have supported me I think you , for those who have called me every name in the book I thank you too. My intentions have never changed 10 years ago my goal was to retire as a patriot and as I sit here typing this I am closer to achieving my goal. I look forward to getting back to football and helping my team compete and have a chance at winning a Super Bowl.” (sic)

After New England's final mini-camp practice on Thursday, Wilfork re-iterated that sentiment, emphasizing the importance of having familiarity with a franchise as he goes into his eleventh NFL season.

"In my career, I think the right thing was for me to be up here with my family and my teammates and a staff that I've been around for so long, an organization that I know," Wilfork said. "It was just a smart decision for me and my family to be here. If we think that it wouldn't work, we wouldn't be here. It's a positive thing that I'm here. Like I said there's no grudges."
 
Asked if there was any chance that he would have played elsewhere, Wilfork smiled.
 
"Business is business," he said. "I'm here now. Everything happens for a reason so I'm here. Who knows what might've happened> Could've got drafted somewhere else too. There's always some 'what if?"' If a 'if' was a fifth, we'd all be drunk, right?"