Vince Wilfork’s 11-year tenure with the New England Patriots has come to an end.
The big nose tackle tweeted that he has agreed to sign with the Houston Texans. Wilfork visited the Texans on Sunday and Monday. He agreed to a two-year deal, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday. [tweet https://twitter.com/wilfork75/status/577551534713491457 align=center]
Wilfork bookended his Patriots career with Super Bowl victories, winning as a rookie and in his last season with the team. He finishes his Patriots career with 516 tackles and 16 sacks. He forced four fumbles and intercepted three passes.
Wilfork was a long-time Patriots defensive captain who played a big role on the 2013 team as a leader despite missing most of the season with a torn Achilles tendon. The Patriots are left with Sealver Siliga, Alan Branch, Chris Jones, Dominique Easley, Joe Vellano and Antonio Johnson at defensive tackle.
They could look to replace Wilfork through free agency and the draft. B.J. Raji and Ahtyba Rubin are the best nose tackles available on the open market. The Patriots showed interest in Oklahoma’s Jordan Phillips and Clemson’s Grady Jarrett at their respective pro days.
Wilfork has some familiarity with the Texans. Former Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel holds the same role in Houston, and former New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is head coach. Wilfork’s former teammate, Mike Vrabel, is linebackers coach.
Thumbnail photo via Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
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