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New England Patriots Links 2/12/10 - New Contract For Randy Moss?

Jeff Howe says the Patriots decision on Wilfork is about more than dollars and cents.

Wilfork will turn 29 in November. Think of this from the Patriots' side for a second. With the increasing possibility of a lockout in 2011, would they really want to give a guy a long-term extension, lose a full season toward the end of the prime of his career, and get him back on the field as a 31-year-old? Granted, 31 isn't the new AARP age, but it's tough to give big money to a player whose career could be shortened by a work stoppage.

If the Patriots do franchise Wilfork -- a move that has been heavily anticipated for months -- they'll lose any chance they might have had to sign him to a long-term extension after 2010, because he'll likely wash his hands with the organization. He'll be able to hold out but will eventually have to play in the regular season to earn his year's worth of eligibility. Basically, if Wilfork decided he’d hold out for all of 2010, he wouldn't get paid and would also remain in the Patriots' control for the following season.

In terms of dollars and cents, franchising Wilfork would be a good move for the Patriots. But business isn't just black and white. The front office and ownership would continue to send a poor message to its players, as well as players around the league and future draft picks, that they're only as valuable as their rookie contract and first franchise tag.

Adam Schefter joined WEEI's the Dennis & Callahan show and talked about potential Patriots offseason moves, the coordinator situation and what impact the Super Bowl had on Manning and Brees.

Did you hear anybody around the league saying the Patriots are slipping?

I never heard that from anybody. I don’t know that that’s the case. I think we’ve seen players time and time again come back stronger from these surgeries the second year than the first. And if Tom Brady comes back stronger in the second year as I expect him to and as most people around the league expect him to – are you telling me that the Patriots with all those picks and Tom Brady coming back to as close as Tom Brady as possible, aren’t going to be a formidable threat?

They’ve got some significant questions to address this offseason. They’ve got the Vince Wilfork issue/headache because he has now played six years and he wants to be a free agent and they’re going to want to keep him there with a franchise tag and so that’s going to be a little tricky. You’ve got to come up with playmakers on offense, you don’t have a real running threat, so they need another receiver, they need another running back, the offensive line looked a little shaky – so they’ve got some real needs. They need to retool, there’s no question they have some needs to address. They also have a lot of picks. And I think they’ll be smart enough to figure out which players to bring in and which players to not bring in.