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Robert Kraft: ‘Not giving up hope’ on possibility of Vince Wilfork sticking with Patriots

03.24.14 at 1:46 pm ET
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ORLANDO — Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday he’s still holding out hope that defensive lineman Vince Wilfork is with the team in 2014.

Wilfork reportedly has requested his release, but the owner said during a break in the league meetings there’s still a reason to be optimistic about the situation.

“You know, going back over the last 20 years, if I was to think, we’ve had some pretty special people come through, and he is one of my personal favorites,” Kraft said of Wilfork, who has spent 10 seasons with the team.

“I’€™m thinking of Tedy Bruschi and Matt Light and Kevin Faulk and Troy Brown, they made their careers with us. I surely hope Vince will be with us next year. In modern day athletics, in pro sports, it’€™s a business as well as commitment to one another. We have to work through, and I’€™m still not giving up hope that he’€™ll be part of our team next year.”

Kraft and Wilfork have developed a close bond over the last decade, but the owner acknowledged that can’t play into the process.

“€œWe’ve been very close, and I’€™ll let Vince speak to whatever he feels is appropriate,” he said “I very much hope we get it done, and I believe he very much would like to do it as well. We’ve been so lucky to have him. So we’€™ll see what happens.”

Kraft said it can be difficult to separate business decisions from personal feelings.

“€œYou know, for him, he’€™s making some individual decisions. For us, we have to put a team together of over 50 people,” he said. “We have a salary cap. In the end, it’€™s about both parties feeling it’€™s a good transaction and it’€™s a win-win. I think that’€™s what we’€™re both shooting for.”

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