Former Patriots standout Wilfork officially retires from NFL

FILE – In this Dec. 21, 2014, file photo, New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork (75) tackles New York Jets’ Geno Smith (7) during the first half of an NFL football game in East Rutherford, N.J. Former New England and Houston player Wilfork announced his NFL retirement Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, in a barbecue commercial, a fitting farewell for a big guy who loved to eat. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Former New England and Houston defensive tackle Vince Wilfork announced his retirement from the NFL in a barbecue commercial on Monday, a fitting farewell for a big guy who loved to eat.

Wilfork tweeted a video showing him un-taping his ankles, hanging up his cleats and grabbing grilling tongs. The video then shows the 35-year-old defender dancing, cooking ribs and smoking a cigar while wearing his trademark overalls.

“No more cleats,” he says. “I’m moving on to smoke meats, fellas. Peace out. I’m outta here. Later.”

The video ends by noting that “Vince’s Farewell Tailgate” will take place Sept. 7 in New England. The defending Super Bowl champions open the season that Thursday night against Kansas City.

Wilfork played 13 NFL seasons, including the last two in Houston. He said earlier this summer he was contemplating retirement after the Texans declined to offer him a new contract.

Wilfork was drafted by New England in 2004 and anchored the Pats’ defense line for 11 seasons. He was named to five Pro Bowls and helped the Patriots win two Super Bowls.
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