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Ex-Pats NT Wilfork hangs 'em up

The Sports Xchange
August 07. 2017 8:39PM
Vince Wilfork, who was the anchor of the Patriots' defensive line for a decade, announced his retirement on Monday. (USA TODAY Sports file)

Perennial Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork did not have to be dragged over hot coals to make him walk away from the game. But in announcing his retirement Monday after 13 NFL seasons, hot coals were part of that decision.

Wilfork revealed to the world why he’s quitting the game in a video posting on social media, letting the public know in simple terms what the reasons were for his decision.

“No more cleats. I’m moving on to smoked meats,” Wilfork proclaimed in the video while clad in denim overalls and standing in front of a Kingsford charcoal grill.

The posting, a promotional for the company, lit up the Twitterverse, blotting out the simple retirement tweet earlier by the five-time Pro Bowl selection.

“Well y’all — it’s been a great run, but the time has come,” Wilford wrote on his personal Twitter account.

The question of retirement cropped up for the 35-year-old Wilford immediately after his Houston Texans lost 34-16 in the AFC Divisional playoff game on Jan. 14 at the New England Patriots — the organization with which Wilford played his first 11 seasons.

Wilfork, listed generously at 325 pounds, spent the past two seasons with the Texans after winning a pair of Super Bowl championships with the Patriots.

A first-round draft pick of New England in 2004 out of the University of Miami, Wilford registered 370 solo tackles and 16 sacks in 189 games — all but 10 of them starts. He added three sacks in 24 postseason games.

Wilfork was named to four consecutive Pro Bowl team from 2009-12 and was named a first-team All-Pro selection in 2012.

Wilfork plans to put his new career on display by holding a farewell tailgate party before the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 7 in the season opener.


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