In a move that should not come as a big surprise, Vince Wilfork announced via Twitter on Thursday that the Patriots would not be picking up his $4 million roster bonus due next week and will therefore become a free agent.
By allowing Wilfork to become a free agent, the Patriots will pick up a little more than $8 million in cap space as they save the $4 million plus his $3 million base salary and other bonuses that would have put his 2015 cap number at just under $9 million.
The move doesn't necessarily mean the 33-year-old's time in New England is over. It's possible the sides could reach an agreement on a new deal, and Wilfork's comments were quite complimentary of the entire organization.
"I'm in a good place. I have a great relationship with the Patriots organization," Wilfork wrote in his statement. "Please know how blessed my family and I have been to be able to play 11 years in New England for an amazing organization. New England has been and always will be my home."
Wilfork signed an incentive-laden deal last season coming off a torn Achilles and managed to reach many of those marks by appearing in all 16 games and taking part in more than 73 percent of the snaps. He remained a reliable run-stuffer in the middle and finished with 47 tackles on the season.
It's possible that Wilfork will peruse the market and determine which situation fits him best, but it's clear he believes can still play at a high level.
"Can I still play football? Hell yea! Do I still love football? Hell yea!" he wrote. "One major injury; lots of gas still left in the tank. I will take my time, think things through, take into consideration many things, but mainly my family and see where life goes from there. But regardless, remember, I will always remain a New Englander, a Patriot forever."