Devin McCourty was a big reason Vince Wilfork is still in New England

Patriots safety Devin McCourty told the Boston Herald that he was a big part of Vince Wilfork restructuring his contract in order to stay in New England.

“I can’t tell the details of my negotiating skills,” McCourty said. “I’m the guy that brings in the Rutgers guys and keeps the vets.”

McCourty knew how to make Wilfork feel needed by telling him that keeping was one of the Patriots’ biggest priorities of the offseason.

“It was key,” McCourty, who assisted at “The Great American Milk Drive” at The Greater Boston Food Bank, said. “I joked with (Wilfork). I told him I went down to Florida to make sure he came back, so he kind of owes me a little percent of his contract. He’s the heart and soul of not just the defense but the team. Everyone in that locker room listens to Vince when he speaks. He’s not a guy that is just talking all the time or talking to talk. When he speaks, everyone listens.

“With him and (quarterback) Tom (Brady) in there, I think our leadership is in great hands. Keeping him and not letting him leave just goes to show the organization did a tremendous job of working it out and bringing him back. I think everyone else kind of jumped to conclusions and just said he was gone or would leave, but he was still under contract and it was great to see that both sides will be happy going forward.”