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Is Vince Wilfork being treated fairly by the New England Patriots?

Normally, I am in lock step with Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots organization. One of the best owners in football, he hired THE best head coach of the past ten years and managed to turn this franchise around. Sure, many old timers can claim there's a lot of fair weather fans out there, but so what? Fans are good for a team no matter what the reason. As an old timer, take pride in your stick toitiveness (is that a word?) and, as a new timer, stay with us for better or for worse.

Yes, normally I like what Kraft does and think he's a heck of a lot smarter than I am. However, maybe not this time around. Vince Wilfork has a right to be livid. He has a right to be PO'd beyond belief. But that's not the type of player this team attracts. If you're a whinebag, you'll be shown the door in three seconds flat. Don't let your jerseys hit you on the way out. But Vince has been nothing but calm, cool, and collected:

"I see both sides. I can truly sit here and say, ‘I see where the organization is coming from,’ but at the same time, they see what I’m seeing: Other teams are getting deals done, also. But they might not have situations like we have, where we have a bunch of top-notch players that’s up. So, for that reason . . . they’re probably in a little awkward situation. But at the same time, the whole NFL is."

Say what you want about Vince Wilfork. Bring up his fines, his finger poking, bring it all up. The fact remains, he's one classy dude. Aside from being a standup guy, he's one of the best defensive tackles in the business and probably THE best 3-4 nose tackle. So why doesn't Kraft want to make him happy?

Wilfork's comments seem to confirm earlier sentiments from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who said that the rules of the game had changed and the Patriots did not want to be at a competitive disadvantage in the future. He also warned that teams needed to be careful about additional expenditures because no one knows how things might turn out in the future. These comments were in response to questions about how the labor uncertainty affected long-term contracts.

Kraft is referring to the end of the current collective bargaining agreement which could cause a 2010 season without a salary cap and a possible 2011 lockout. Ironically it was the owners themselves who terminated the CBA early and now Kraft is trying to use it as leverage in the Wilfork negotiations.

Like I said, normally I love the guy and think he's done right by us fans. But, in this case, don't you think he may have cut off his nose to spite his face? Is Kraft talking out of both sides of his mouth?