Thursday, June 28, 2012
Wilfork, Waters viewed as bargains
By Field Yates
In a recent piece on CBSSports.com, NFL Insider Jason LaCanfora sorts through the 11 best bargains and 11 worst contracts in all of football (note: he examined only contracts signed under the old NFL CBA).
A pair of Patriots linemen, nose tackle/end Vince Wilfork and guard Brian Waters, cracked the bargains list, with respective salaries for 2012 of $5 million and $1.5 million.
In the case of Wilfork, LaCanfora cites his value to the defense, stating that he is "at the core of everything Bill Belichick does toggling from a 3-4 to a 4-3, and he can still be downright dominating in crucial situations."
Waters, who joined the Patriots shortly before the start of the 2011 regular season, excelled in his first year with the team, although it remains unclear if he will return to the squad in 2012. Should he hit the field again (instead of opting for retirement), the Patriots will keep intact their standout tandem of guards, which also includes Logan Mankins.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization have long succeeded in managing the salary cap and player contracts, and have shown an aptitude for acquiring productive veterans at discount prices. Besides Waters, Belichick hit a home run with 2011 free agent signees Andre Carter and Mark Anderson, who teamed up for 20 sacks.
This offseason, the team landed receiver Brandon Lloyd at an annual rate ($4 million per year) that many expected him to far exceed on the open market, particularly given the robust contracts signed by other receivers earlier in free agency.