Samuel advises Wilfork to play hardball

Asante Samuel has some contract advice for former New England Patriots teammate Vince Wilfork:

Don't give a moment's thought about the Patriots.

"I don't think they care about you, in my opinion," Samuel said Friday after Pro Bowl practice. "They didn't care about me. So do what's best for you and your family."

Samuel's comment appeared on the Boston Globe's "Extra Points" blog, written by Adam Kilgore. Samuel was a free-agent cornerback upon whom the Patriots placed the franchise tag in 2007. A year later, he split for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wilfork is a free agent and critical member of the Patriots defense, an elite 3-4 nose tackle. Unless a long-term contract can be worked out, Wilfork seems destined for a franchise tag, too.

The NFL announced the 2010 franchise-tag figure for defensive tackles will be $7.03 million.

Boston Globe columnist Charles P. Pierce is all for Wilfork taking it to the Patriots:

The Three Super Bowls argument is getting a little old. There are better run franchises in the NFL than the Patriots now. Two of them are playing a game next Sunday. The days in which players hungered to come here and to play for the league's signature franchise are long gone, and the signature franchise is in Indianapolis anyway. Also gone are the days in which the Patriots had the luxury of pressing every advantage they have to the wall. Word gets around. Players talk. If this franchise jacks around with someone like Wilfork just because it can, what does that tell everyone else on the team?

On Friday, Wilfork was more diplomatic about his contract situation than he'd been in interviews earlier this week.

Wilfork drew a line in the sand Wednesday on Boston sports-radio station WEEI and told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Thursday that playing in his home state of Florida would be "a dream come true."

"I said what I had to say, and I'm done with it," Wilfork said Friday. "Next time I approach that is when I find out what's going on. ... I already talked about it, so I don’t want to keep hammering at it."