Wilfork seeks 'comfortable' contract
BOLTON, Mass. -- New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork said Monday it made "the most sense" for him to stay away from the Patriots' organized team activities while he hopes to get a contract extension.
"It's nothing personal towards the organization. It's nothing personal towards my coaches or anything like that," Wilfork said on WEEI radio.
The two-time Pro Bowl player spoke with the station, but not with reporters, at the team's annual charitable foundation golf tournament. The Patriots hold the last of their 12 days of voluntary OTAs on Tuesday. Their mandatory three-day minicamp starts Wednesday.
"OTAs wasn't mandatory. It was voluntary, so I chose to sit out," he said, "because of the situation I'm in."
Wilfork, taken with the 21st pick in the 2004 draft, is entering the final year of his six-year contract worth an average of $1.5 million a season.
"I'm not looking to sign this big-time, going-down-in-history, the best contract there is. I want to be comfortable," he said. "I don't want to leave. So I'm pretty sure we're going to do everything in our willpower to make it work."
He knows, though, that he could start the season without an extension.
"Hopefully, everything is resolved, and if not, I'm going to go forward, be 100 percent and give everything that I have," he said.
Players have stayed away from Patriots minicamps and training camps in the past, hoping to get a contract extension.
"Unfortunately, the business part of this game, this is something that goes on every year with most teams," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. "We're lucky to have Vince. I hope he's here for the long term and these things usually have a way of working themselves out."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press