|Steven Bisig/ USA Today Sports|
After watching the Patriots defense get shredded all year against the run without Vince Wilfork, it will probably pain Patriots fans to hear that Bryant was very close to coming to New England as a free agent in 2012. Bryant discussed the matter yesterday with Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe.
"I had an opportunity to go there; they’ve got a great history, great tradition, I have the utmost respect for coach Belichick and Tom Brady and Mr. Robert Kraft. My big brother, Ty Warren, he played there and I called him and he gave me a background on what it would be like and the expectations and it would have been a great opportunity."If that's the case, what prevented Bryant from forming a monstrous run-stuffing duo with Wilfork? In his words, the Seahawks "made me a deal I couldn't refuse" in the form of a five year, $35 million contract with $14.5 million guaranteed.
As tantalizing as the thought of Bryant pairing with Wilfork up front is, it's hard to fault Bryant for his decision in hindsight, as the big defensive tackle is a prominent figure for his Seahawks on and off the field. Bryant is a team captain for Seattle and delivers a weekly pre-game speech to his teammates. Seattle's meteoric rise to the top of the NFL has surprised many, but not Bryant.
"The only thing that kept me [from joining the Patriots] was my love for this team and I envisioned us one day making it to a Super Bowl."