Belichick refuses to talk about Wilfork


Patriots coach Bill Belichick met the media at the league meeting this morning, and he was just as effusive as usual.

A reporter asked Belichick about Vince Wilfork, who reportedly wants to be released because the Patriots want to cut his salary. Here’s the entirety of the exchange:

Reporter: “The way that things have gotten a little contentious with Vince and the team, where do things stand with him right now and how much do you hope to have him back next year?”

Belichick: “Uh, I don’t really know what, you know, the nature of your question — maybe that’s something you’d have to talk about Vince about.”

Reporter: “Has he requested his release, did he request that to you, as was reported?”

Belichick: “I’m not going to talk about anything with any of our specific players. I’m not going to get into that.”

The 32-year-old Wilfork missed most of last season with a torn Achilles tendon, and the Patriots have asked him to restructure his contract so that they won’t have to pay him the $7.5 million he’s owed on his current contract if he doesn’t play all 16 games in 2014. It’s highly unlikely that Wilfork will remain in New England without accepting a restructured contract, but that topic — like many topics — is an area about which Belichick will remain mum.

89 responses to “Belichick refuses to talk about Wilfork

  1. “I’m not going to talk about anything with any of our specific players. I’m not going to get into that.”

    Is this a new and permanent policy that applies to all players, or just a temporary policy that will void after this one singular player has moved on?

    And can we get a list of the non-specific players that you have so we can ask some questions about them, or can you at least tell us about the specific group?

  2. He didn’t really answer any questions this morning at all except he wasn’t going to comment on any player on another team’s roster. Plus he wasn’t going to comment on a specific player on his roster, lol.

  3. That was an awful long first question for a guy like Belichick. That poor reporter probably spent a week working on it… What an idiot.

  4. I have no idea why Belichick pisses me off as much as he does. This is a FOOTBALL coach, coaching a GAME and making millions of dollars, yet he acts like such an a-hole to anybody that is trying to do their job.

    The whole not being in the head coaches picture is petty and childish. You’re coaching a childs game and making a lot of money to do it. Being cordial to a reporter once in awhile won’t prevent you from winning on Sundays.

    Spare me the “but he wins superbowls”. Last I checked, it’s been a decade since that was the case. Now, he’s just a prick IMO.

  5. He should have asked…
    “We know Wilfork had a Torn Achilles tendon, if he were somehow still able to play would you have reported this injury as an ankle sprain, hang injury or not at all?”

  6. We all know that 1+1+1+1=4. The problem is people don’t apply that basic logic to things other than math. So 32 years old + Achilles injury + over 300 pounds + position pay scale = pay cut. Instead people think 32 years old + Achilles injury + over 300 pounds + position pay scale = it’s all Revis’ fault when that’s not the case. Revis only has a $6 million cap hit this season because of the way NE structured his contract. He’s a steal for them for this season. Next season will be a different story.

  7. Good for Bill. The negotiations should be between the player and the team. They should NOT be conducted in the media.

  8. Is there anyway we trade Vince??? Maybe some team will give a 2nd/3rd round pick. Too bad, we all love Vince but he’s being selfish. He should restructure for the good of the team. That’s the Patriot way, TEAM. There is no I in team. Our best player Tom Brady always redoes his deal to help the club out. It’s time for Vince to do the same. If Vince refuses, then Belichick should trade him to the Raiders!

  9. It does not matter whether Wilfork is there or not. As long as they have the B&B, (Brady/Belichick combination) they will be able to compete and likely win division again. Other 3 teams in division are just not that good.

  10. Not sure what answer he was supposed to give there. Anything he says is gonna piss Wilfork off.

    Wilfork may get $7M from the Raiders but at 32, and 350lbs coming off a torn Achilles… and pissed off because Revis gets more money.

    It’s a business.

  11. Oh and if/when Wilfork gets released he’ll say he never tore his Achilles and just had a bruised ankle. Gronk never tore his acl either, he just twisted his knee. And Mayo never tore his pectoral muscle, he just strained it.

  12. I love the way Hoody handles the media. Media seems to think their entitled to something. He owes them nothing.

    He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer weather the media likes it or not and they can’t do a thing about it.

  13. Why would he give any team fuel to call Vince and tamper with him? He’s not being childish, he’s being smart. Also hey MDS to say it doesn’t look like Vince will be a patriot next year is kind of a silly statement to make. I know your talking about at his current salary, but everybody thought Mankins was done too when he called Kraft a liar. This is all just part of the dance. Vince is smart he had to have seen how far they got without him last year, which drives his value to the team into the ground.

  14. What would you rather have, a solid head football coach…or a media darling?
    I choose the former.

  15. It’s an ongoing negotiation what do you want him to say? “Yeah, we’re pretty sure we can get Vince to take X Amount of money. We’ll go higher but don’t tell him that.”

  16. Why does everyone keep thinking that maybe *this* is the time that Belechik will finally open up? The guy has been the same since day one. He’s not one to talk to the media about anything that he doesn’t want to. He isn’t going to throw fuel on the fires.

  17. When will these idiot media types get a clue? Bill does not answer questions dealing with “what if’s” , “maybe’s” and any other speculation. He deals with facts and things that are concrete. Ask him about something that is solid and he will give a solid answer. Ask him stupid questions, expect stupid answers. Got to love the guy for that.

  18. Just business and at 32 years young plus the injury, its time to move on unless he takes a pay cut. Oh by the way, no ones giving up a 2nd or 3rd for a 32 year old with a severe injury.

  19. Belicheck doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to. Like when the Giants deflated his Superbowl run (the first out of two times.) and he refused to shake Coughlin’s hand.

  20. Belichick is such a genius that the Colts had to have the NFL changed the pass-defense rules after the Pats won 3 Superbowls to even the playing field!

    Belichick is such a genius that he knows not to tip his hand about player negotiations!

    We are SO glad he is the Patriots coach!!!

  21. How about we save the headline alerts for the first time Bill answers a potentially controversial question about a player.

    This is like telling us “Water Is Still Wet!”

  22. Do any of you have friends that announce to the world on FB what they do every day? “I had a nice salad at lunch!” Maybe the same people air out dirty laundry about their relationships too. Do you find yourself saying “who cares?!?”. So Bill doesn’t want to air out the laundry in the press. “who cares?” These ‘poor reporters who are just doing their jobs’ know this. How many coaches tell the press everything that goes on in the locker room? With negotiations? Who they’re going to keep/cut/sign? The ones without jobs, that’s who.

  23. Belichick dies and goes to heaven.

    At the Pearly Gates of Heaven, God asks Bill why he should let him enter.

    Belichick replies: “Uh, I don’t really know what, you know, the nature of your question

  24. Oh the humanity!!!

    Love BB and the way he gives a middle finger to just about everyone, especially the media.

  25. Other folks don’t like him, but a player knows BB is never going to air any dirty laundry or throw him either under the bus or to the media wolves. He’s especially not going to work out a contract issue publicly. Say what you want, haters, but I’d rather a tight-lipped coach who has his players’ backs than one who babbles a bit too much.

  26. Pats are really blundering this situation with Wilfork. He is the teams best defensive player, a leader, a good character dude, and they treat him like garbage after putting it all on the line. What a classless organization. They should be happy to pay him for his hard work and dedication. This is why the NFL needs fully guaranteed contracts.

  27. Best Belichick media owning was in NY when some idiot reporter tried accusing the Pats of “running up the score” because they went for it on 4th down… Belichick said “What would you have done, kicked field goals?” LOL. The NY media dude didnt even get it.

  28. I really don’t understand how can these reporters not get it. Belichick will never answer such a question. What makes you think this time he will?

    But it’s funnier when people complain that he’s just a prick to the media. No, he isn’t. He just doesn’t deal with stuff that might affect things. He won’t talk about Vince because what he says may either make Vince angry or give him leverage, so better stay quiet.

    On the other hand, if you ask Belichick smart questions about football X’s and O’s and history, you’re in for a treat. Have you seen his conferences when he starts talking about the history of football or the evolution of a position or things like that? They’re amazing. But alas, people just want to ask questions that we already know won’t be answered by him.

  29. The problem the Patriots have with Wilfork is not the 7.5M they owe him. I think they’d give him that much just because they like him if there were no salary cap. The problem is the 11M cap charge. I believe there is only 3M of dead money on his deal, so cutting him would free up 8M of cap space.

    I think ideally they’d like to have him on the team but only eat up 4-6M of cap space.

  30. Wilfork is the bad guy here. He knows how much salary cap room the Pats have. Unless they get freed up from the Aaron Hernandez money, they don’t have enough to pay him what he wants. Wilfork should know this and he really needs to be the good soldier and accept the pay cut. This is no way for him to end a great career.

  31. This is definitely the right thing to do, it’s the patriot way, and for sure it will help them win games in the fall!

  32. The best thing that could ever happen to the NFL is Bill Belichick disappearing.

    Or meeting Aaron Hernandez in an alley.

    Never despised anyone more in the history of sports. He’s the only coach who doesn’t show up for the league photo, he’s the only coach who won’t lend his name to Madden…he’s a piece of garbage whom I wouldn’t mind seeing get his legs snapped.

  33. I am a little confused by all the people saying Wilfork is being greedy or wants a ton of money. Isn’t he only asking them to pay him what both sides agreed to when they signed the contract? he agreed to accept this amount and the Patriots agreed to pay it. Now he’s the bad guy because he plans to live up to his end of the agreement but the Patriots won’t? I understand the issues with his age and injury, but there is a greater principle here about living up to your word.

  34. I have read many times Brady can win the division without Wilfork or they won this amount of games without him last year. When they run into the Broncos in the AFC Championship game it wasn’t even competitive.

    Vince Wilfork for 10 years wipes out the whole middle of a defense eating up 2 gaps. When he’s in teams don’t even bother trying to run it at him. Sure he was injured but he had a 5 year deal signed. I can understand why he would pack up all his things and rip down his name plate. Revis comes in getting 12 plus million and no one bats an eye.

  35. robert831 says:

    He is the teams best defensive player, a leader, a good character dude, and they treat him like garbage after putting it all on the line. What a classless organization. They should be happy to pay him for his hard work and dedication. This is why the NFL needs fully guaranteed contracts.

    He’s made something like 40 million from the Pats, not sure how that’s “treating him like garbage”.

    Here are some facts for you –

    Every member of the homer press pointed out last year that Wilfork put on a lot of extra weight after the injury. He’s probably closer to 400 pounds than the 350 he’s reported at.

    What make Vince great was he had agility like no other big man I’ve ever seen before. Recovering from an ACL tear, if he doesn’t re-injure it this year will hugely limit that agility.

    Because of the weight gain it will be that much harder to rehab the knee, and harder to lose the weight because of the limited use of his leg during rehab.

    He’s due 7.5 mil this year with an 11.5 mil cap hit. Not gonna happen. Any team that didn’t want him to restructure in this situation would be incredibly foolish.

    Vince is being incredibly unrealistic to think that any team will pay him that kind of money this year coming off an injury like that. Because of his size and weight he may well never return to his former level of play and I think its very unlikely he will. Love Wilfork and I’ll never forget the times I’ve seen him literally take on 3 Dlinemen and push them all back at the same time simply by spreading his arms wide and getting the jump on them. Without the agility needed to get those jumps he will be an average player. Not one worth 7.5mil/11.5 cap hit.

  36. FYI – when haters say that the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl in a decade… the same goes for over 3/4 of the teams in the league. It is hard to win a Super Bowl, it’s a great accomplishment (kinda the point).

  37. ragnarthegreat says: Mar 25, 2014 9:52 AM

    Does anyone retire a Patriot?

    After spending their entire career with the Pats? Yes. Troy Brown, Tedy Bruschi, and Matt Light to name three Pats leaders from the Super Bowl teams that retired as Patriots.

    In these free agency years, having three players that good stay with one team their entire career is probably unusual, and I will not be surprised if Wilfork joins that list in two or three years.

  38. I love me some Vince but the way he is handling this situation by going public with it is childish. The fact is he has been paid 32 million dollars already from the Patriots. Every player is asked to restructure at the end of their contract. New England loves him and he can be an all time New England great but if he pulls a Ty Law and says the Patriots are being cheap and he has to feed his kids then good riddance. The fact is he played 4 games last year and still got paid. He is 32, over 300 pounds and coming of a bad injury on a weight bearing part of his body. I don’t blame the Patriots for looking to restructure the contract to protect themselves in case he can’t regain his past form.

  39. Do you want a coach who dances and sings for the media or someone who concentrates on coaching and only coaching? Do players want to play for a coach who talks about them publically or keeps their conversations private? The only thing that ever comes out of speaking to the media is trouble. He has no obligation to help the media “do their jobs”. Their job is to create traps and controversy. His only obligation is to win football games. That style seems to be working.

  40. How many other GMs would either negotiate or discuss the possibility of releasing a player to the media? Belichick’s goal is to keep the player, get some new money to Wilfork while at the same time lowering his salary cap hit. Vince and Bianca feel disrespected by this, but also won’t find another team out there that would be willing to pay them $7.5M cash for Vince to play one year. Vince doesn’t like it, but Belichick is holding the cards right now with respect to when and if Vince gets released. It will stay that way unless the Patriots get into salary cap problems.

  41. Pay the man what he is owed. These guys do not get guaranteed money like other sports. This is a contract if you back load a deal own up to it and finish the contract. It isn’t fair that these guys are asked to take a pay cut or restructure when their money is not guaranteed. Same with holding out on players end if you signed the contract own up to it. This is a tough sport to make a living in outside of the super stars.

  42. “Pats fans better get ready, the preBrady days are just around the corner”
    Are we going back to the future? Pre 9/11 before Brady ?

    Keep beating the Brady will not be around drum, we still have at least three + years of having the best QB in the NFL and your Raiders traded for Matt Shaub. Raiders fans pray for the pre Brady days.

  43. If Big Vince is so miffed by the Revis signing, he needs to remember this: Revis, age 28, arguably best cover corner in league, salary $12 mil. By equal age comparison, Vince Wilfork, age 28, arguably best nose tackle in league, salary $19 mil, yes 19.

  44. Vince has made $32M of the $40M he signed for. Not bad. Being that he’s 32, coming off a torn Achilles and weighing in the neighborhood of 350 lbs., were it not for the name Belichick being involved, anyone and everyone would understand a team requesting a restructuring.
    And oh yeah, there’s an $11.6M cap hit for the Patriots this year as well.
    But since it’s Belichick, it’s unfair.
    Got it.

  45. why would he say anything and further inflame the relationship. I understand Vince’s point. The teams insist players live up to their contracts even when they overplay them like Vince did in his first 5 years. But the team doesn’t want to live up to it’s end. Give pause to players to think twice about playing hurt.

  46. 1) Media fabricates reports of tension with Wilfork.
    2) Media asks Belichick about fabricated reports of tension with Wilfork.
    3) Belichick says he doesn’t know about fabricated reports, directs reporters to Wilfork.
    4) Reporters fabricate reports about Belichick “refusing to speak about” prior fabricated reports.

    Shakespeare may have wanted to kill all the lawyers first, but something tells me the list didn’t stop there.

  47. Yes. Yes. Everybody here LOVES how Billy handles the media vultures. Wouldn’t we all just love it if all the coaches did this? How about all the players? How about all the agents? How about we just shut down all media outlets altogether and we don’t get any football information? Yep. You’d all just LOVE that, wouldn’t you? Hypocrites. I don’t care how you try to defend him, the guy is an a-hole.

  48. I hate the argument that the team should play the player because “there is a contract.” Yeah, and under the terms of the contract, the team can cut the player. If the player wants to be sure he gets every dollar in the deal, he needs to negotiate a contract that fully guarantees all of the money in the deal. And guess what, nobody is going to give him that.

    If you understand anything about the NFL, you have to understand that only the guaranteed money is real. All the rest of it is pay-as-you-go. Vince has to know this. He is being a child about it.

  49. I’m not a Pats fan; however, Coach Belichick has my respect. Media wants sound bites they can play over and over and then report there’s a huge problem w/etc. coach refuses to give the media the answers they want. Again, Coach has my respect for keeping communication between the player and the team private.

  50. Why do Patriots fans always think other teams are jealous of them? They only have three rings, haven’t won a Super Bowl in over a decade and Brady is near retirement. No one cares about how many times you made it to the AFC championship or Super Bowl and LOST.


    Fan of TITLETOWN

    Reggie White had 8 sacks when he was 33. Julius Peppers had 7.5 sacks when he was 33 (and was the only pass-rushing threat). Welcome Julius!

  51. One commenter writes that he has no idea why Belichick pisses him off so much. Since I’m a Steelers fan, a writer who’s had my share of uncooperative interview subjects, and someone who also thinks Belichick is kind of a jerk, I have no idea why his behavior toward the sports media delights me so much. But it does.

  52. Every team was videotaping because it was legal. Get your facts straight. By the same token, I can say the Colts haven’t won a Superbowl since Spygate.

  53. Let him sign with the Jets

    They’d happily give $12 million a season and more to a 33 year old 330 lb tackle coming off a torn Achilles

    That’s why they’re the Jets

  54. The issue with Wilfork is that no one knows how he’s gonna hold up this season after such a devastating injury. Putting that much weight on a healing Achilles’ tendon and expecting him to have that same burst and quickness is pretty dubious. We know the team loves him and wants to keep him, but why would they use up that much of the limited cap if he can’t perform on that level? They want him to retire there, but not if it’s gonna negatively impact the team.

    One thing the Patriots are great at is separating emotions from business decisions. You never want to pay for past performance, only for future expectations. It can be hard to take as fans of the team, but that’s one of the reasons they stay successful year in and year out. Hopefully Vince stays, but if not, then we wish him well and pour that cap savings into someone to take his place

  55. Vince isn’t going anywhere. Not really as acrimonious as is being reported. Great comment Deb, and people that want to see the more humorous side of BB, some good stuff on Reiss’ blog today from owners meeting.

  56. BB does not fan the flame nor take such baits. He’s an a-hole and an arrogant sob. A lot hate him to the gore but frankly, he does not give a damn. Love him!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!