As negotiation on a long-term contract is still going on and there are only two days left for deadline to designate franchise and transition players, the New England Patriots and nose tackle Vince Wilfork comprise to a franchise tag that will keep Wilfork with Patriots for one year.
“A long-term agreement with Vince Wilfork has been the team’s top contractual priority for some time,” the Patriots said in a statement. “Unfortunately, despite numerous conversations and proposals, the goal has not yet been realized. Vince is a tremendous player for our team and remains a significant part of our future plans.”
Actually the tag Patriots placed on Wilfork is a non-exclusive tag that gives the Patriots the right to match any other team’s offer or let Wilfork go for two first-round draft picks. But this kind of tag will also cause the Patriots to pay Wilfork $7 million for 2011 season if a long-term deal is still not reached by then.
Wilfork said last month that he would rather take off Patriots jersey to leave than remain a Patriot with a franchise tag, but his tone changed Monday, saying that the tag is applied for its true purpose. The true purpose refers to the purpose of allowing more time for both sides to continue negotiations about a long-term contract.