Losing Vince Wilfork was a huge blow for the Patriots this year, especially because they did not have good depth at Defensive tackle. Coming back from a ruptured Achilies is tough as is any major injury, but this one could be especially hard for Wilfork due to his sheer size. With no issues in his recovery Wilfork will take around six months to recover from his injury which would hopefully make him healthy around April, but as we saw this season with Gronkowski timetables sometimes get complex. His rehab will involve slowly working to increase his range of motion, strength and mobility while his repaired tendon cements itself back into place.
That said, the recovery time for an Achilles repair is extremely variable, running anywhere from four months to over a year and Wilfork's heavy weight could weigh him down in his rehab. Another factor is his age, he will be 32 next season and that's old in Defensive tackle years so it could start being a factor that as much as Wilfork wants to return he physically can not do it or at least may not be able to do so at his elite level. We are at the point where we could start to expect a drop off even if he had not ruptured his Achilles and now nobody knows what he will be like after his recovery.
On top of all of this Vince is going to be owed $7.5 million next year in his final year of his five year $40 million deal that he signed back in 2010 and with his signing bonuses he is owed an additional $3.6 million signing bonus raising his cap hit to $11.6 million in 2014 which is second only to Tom Brady(the additional half a million is a bonus for weight and workout). If the Patriots want to save cap space they would save $7.5 million if they cut Wilfork. That's a good chunk of change and as much as we all love Vince Wilfork that savings may outweigh keeping him under that contract. Maybe they could renegotiate the deal , potentially give an extension in exchange for him taking a pay cut, but without taking a Wilfork sized bite out of his salary the Patriots could end up sticking a fork in Big Vince.