ORLANDO, Fla. -- When a reporter asked Bill Belichick about defensive tackle Vince Wilfork's request to be released, this was Belichick's response at Tuesday's AFC coaches breakfast:
"You need to talk to him about any of those statements, which I think you should verify first."
Earlier in the breakfast, Belichick had been asked about the "contentious" situation with Wilfork and said, "I don't really know the nature of your question, maybe that's something you have to talk to Vince about."
Belichick's remarks came one day after owner Robert Kraft said, "I very much hope we get it done, and I believe [Vince] very much would like to do it as well."
These comments have stood out to me over the past 24 hours.
Belichick's, in particular, seems to call into question the context and/or accuracy of Wilfork's reported request to be released, or perhaps Belichick is simply focusing on the present snapshot, which has shifted from two weeks ago.
There was a point Tuesday morning when Belichick was asked specifically if Wilfork had requested his release, and the coach said he wouldn't get into specifics on any players.
The big takeaway from all of this?
It's clear the sides are working through a complicated contractual issue, and in light of that, Wilfork's future with the franchise still hangs in the sensitive balance.
But remarks from Belichick and Kraft paint a picture of a situation that isn't as contentious as it might seem to be from a public perception standpoint.
How that affects the endgame still remains to be seen.