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"After six years of dedicated service I do understand this is a business," it said. "With that being said it is my hope that the tag is applied for its true purpose. For the purpose of allotting more time for us to continue our talks and be able to reach a long term agreement. Only time will tell what the final result will be."
The Patriots noted that in 2002, they named kicker Adam Vinatieri a franchise player then reached agreement on a three-year contract extension. They used it again on Vinatieri in 2005 and cornerback Asante Samuel in 2007 and both left as free agents after those seasons.
The team had a deadline of Thursday for putting the tag on Wilfork.
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