The Kansas City Chiefs can scratch one name off their free agency shopping list: DT Vince Wilfork. The New England Patriots have assigned the non-exclusive franchise tag to Wilfork.
The non-exclusive tag means that other teams can host Wilfork on a free-agent visit and potentially sign him to an offer sheet (a player assigned the exclusive franchise tag couldn’t negotiate with other teams). If the Patriots decide not to match a potential offer sheet, they would receive two first-round draft choices. Because of that high cost, it is rare for a non-exclusive franchise tag player to change teams with an offer sheet.
If Wilfork signs his non-exclusive franchise tender with the Patriots, it would be a one-year deal at $7 million.
So if the Chiefs want to give up a King’s ransom (not gonna happen) they can still sign Wilfork to anchor their defense. More likely, Scott Pioli will have to match up with the Pats on a trade the way he did last offseason after New England assigned the franchise tag to Matt Cassel.
I have no idea where the price will start for Wilfork in trade talks, but anything within reason you know Pioli is going to be first in line. The Chiefs have been searching for as long as I can remember for a big time player inside and Wilfork fits the bill perfectly.