This really doesn’t come as a surprise but…from ESPN.com:
“A long-term agreement with Vince Wilfork has been the team’s top contractual priority for some time,” the Patriots announced in a statement confirming Wilfork was tagged. “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. It is because of Vince’s importance to this organization that we have assigned the franchise designation as we continue to work toward a long-term agreement. We are hopeful that Vince will remain a Patriot for many years to come.”
The Patriots used the nonexclusive tag on Wilfork, according to an NFL source, meaning that other teams can host Wilfork on a free-agent visit and potentially sign him to an offer sheet. If the Patriots decide not to match a potential offer sheet, they would receive two first-round draft choices. Because of that high cost, it is extremely rare for a non-exclusive franchise tag player to change teams with an offer sheet.
What this essentially means is, there is no way in hell anyone is going to give up 2 first round draft picks and a ton of money to sign Vince Wilfork. All the Pats are doing is buying themselves more time to get a long term deal finished as well as protecting their investment. They can match any deal Wilfork gets and even if someone offers him something the Patriots don’t want to pay they will get huge value in return.
Though no one in their right mind would give up 2 first rounders for a NT, no matter how good he is, so I guess that just leaves Al Davis as Wilfork’s only suitor.