Veteran defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, coming off a season-ending Achilles injury, carried an $11.6 million cap number as he geared up for the final year of his contract, which led to the New England Patriots approaching him about possibly restructuring his deal.
New England was looking to free up some extra cap space to attack free agency, but now it will have a bigger decision to make after Wilfork refused to renegotiate his deal.
According to multiple media reports, Wilfork officially asked the team for his release after talks came to a stop over the past few days. Releasing Wilfork would clear up $8 million in cap space, but leave the team with $3.6 million in dead money.
Wilfork has been an anchor for the Patriots' defensive front over the past decade, and without him in the trenches the team would lose a valuable run-stuffer and block eater.
MORE COVERAGE: 2014 NFL free agency tracker, grades The 10-year veteran played in just four games in 2013, so the Patriots may have grown concerned that he would not be able to regain his top form as he turns 33. If Wilfork hits the open market, there should be plenty of teams interested in adding him to their roster and bolstering their defensive front.