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According to CSNNE.com’s Tom Curran and numerous other sources, the Patriots have officially slapped the “non-exclusive” franchise tag on Vince Wilfork, making it the sixth time in nine years they’ve used the tag. Previous tag victims include Adam Vinatieri (2002, 2005), Tebucky Jones (2003), Asante Samuel (2007), and Matt Cassel (2009). Jones and Cassel were traded while the tag was placed on them, and Vince Wilfork could see the same fate.
Wilfork will make $7.033 million, which equates to the average salary of the five highest paid defensive tackles in the NFL. He previously said a franchise tag would be a “slap in the face,” but at least it’s an expensive slap.
The fact that the tag is “non-exclusive” means that Wilfork has the right to negotiate with other teams, but the Patriots have the right to match any offer. If they choose not to match, they can receive two first round draft picks as compensation.
It will be interesting to see where Wilfork goes from here. Did the Patriots make a smart decision here?