Wilfork confirms contract dispute with Patriots

(Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images)

Patriots NT Vince Wilfork is entering the final season of his original five-year rookie contract, which reportedly will have a $2.2 million base salary in 2009. (Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images)

Vince Wilfork wants to be a Patriot. He also says he’ll be ready for the upcoming season. But the veteran nose tackle hasn’t been at voluntary organized team activities, telling WEEI in Boston on Monday that he has skipped the sessions to this point because of a contract dispute with the Patriots.

“OTAs were voluntary. It wasn’t mandatory. I chose to sit out because of the situation I’m in,” Wilfork said on The Dale & Holly Show. “It’s nothing personal towards the organization, it’s nothing personal towards my coaches or anything like that. It’s just what makes sense to me at this time. I’m looking forward to moving forward. With that being said, I’m looking forward with the season.

“I try to stay positive and at the same time do what’s best for me and my family. At the end of the day, that’s what matters to me. I could care less about what everyone else thinks and what they think I should be doing. It’s all about me and my family. That’s how I’m moving forward with it. … You’re hearing it from the horse’s mouth. That’s where I stand right there.”

Wilfork wouldn’t elaborate on the numbers he is seeking in his next contract. He’s entering the final season of his original five-year rookie contract, which reportedly will have a $2.2 million base salary in 2009.

“I want to be a Patriot. That’s not the question here,” Wilfork said. “I want to be a Patriot. But at the same time, there’s a business aspect to it. Hopefully we can meet somewhere in the middle and this thing will get over with.”

The Patriots have a one-day OTA session scheduled for June 9, followed by three days of mandatory minicamp June 10-12. Wilfork told the Boston Herald last week that he would consider skipping the minicamp as well.

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