Wilfork, who is coming off his 11th season with the New England Patriots, said Thursday on WEEI’s “Dale and Holley” that there’s “no way in the world” he’s retiring in the wake of defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. The 33-year-old is ready to begin his quest for a third ring.
“I worked too hard to get back to this level,” Wilfork said. “(My) body felt good. I doubt this is my last one. It’s just, the things I’ve done in my career, the way I’m headed I still got a lot of football left in me.”
There were some questions entering this season. Wilfork tore his right Achilles in Week 4 last season, forcing him to miss all of the Patriots’ remaining games. The Pats weren’t ready to move on from Wilfork, though, and he rewarded the team with an excellent 2014 campaign.
Wilfork, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, isn’t the dominant interior force he once was, but the 325-pound lineman still can clog the middle. The former first-round pick appeared in every one of New England’s 19 games — 16 regular season, three postseason — this season and played a very important role in the Patriots’ much-improved defense.
“It might be easy for someone like myself that’s got two Super Bowl rings, that comes back off of injury, to get another Super Bowl ring and say, ‘You know what? I’m good. I started my career with a Super Bowl win and I ended my career with a Super Bowl win. I could call it quits,'” Wilfork said Thursday. “It’s easy for people to say that, but I’m not saying that. I’m already looking forward to see if we can do it again. That’s where my mind frame is.”
Wilfork restructured his contract last March. Wilfork will earn base salaries of $3 million and $5 million in 2015 and 2016, respectively, if the Patriots exercise his two-year option.
Thumbnail photo via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images
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