FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP/WHDH) – The New England Patriots sent former defensive tackle Vince Wilfork into retirement on Wednesday.
The defending NFL champions held a news conference to say goodbye to the player who helped them win two Super Bowls. Wilfork signed one last deal with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, allowing him to retire with the Patriots, the team he played with for 11 seasons.
“I had the best teammates I can possibly have. So not only did they make me great but in return I wanted the same thing from them. So thank you to my teammates for pushing me to be great,” said Wilfork.
Wilfork signed with the Houston Texans in 2015 and played his last two years there. His final game came against the Patriots in the playoffs in January, when he was cheered by the New England fans as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The 6-foot-2, 325-pound lineman announced his retirement in a barbeque commercial earlier this week. He finishes his career with 559 tackles, 26 passes defensed, 16 sacks, four forced fumbles and three interceptions.
“He’s a big man physically but he’s a special human being,” said Kraft. Patriots coach Bill Belichick also spoke and called Wilfork “the captain of the captains.”
(Copyright (c) 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)