Vince Wilfork has signed with the Houston Texans. Wilfork made it official on his personal Twitter account on Monday as he thanked the New England Patriots, and the Kraft Family, for his epic 11-year run with the Patriots:
Brady and Wilfork have been a constant in New England as all the contributing players rotated in and eventually out. With Wilfork now gone, it seems natural to look at Brady’s time as coming to an end as well. It’s the inevitable end for all players that usually sneaks up on them. Brady’s position offers him more time in his prime than Wilfork. The quarterback position also offers a hedge of protection with the new NFL rules meaning he can thrive until later in his career. Brady’s time may not be ending in the next two years, but eventually it will.
What sort of turned my head are the overall feelings Wilfork has towards the New England Patriots. It reminded me of an article published some time ago where Tom Brady’s father speculated Brady’s end in New England “will end badly.” To me, the divorce between Wilfork and the Patriots is proof that it doesn’t have to end badly, as long as the split is timed correctly.
It worked for the patriots because they just drafted a defensive tackle in the first round in 2014 Dominique Easley and will likely add to the defensive line this draft as well. They were also able to get DT Alan Branch back for less money to add depth. It worked out for Wilfork because he got $5 million guaranteed from Houston on a two year, $9 million deal. The grapes aren’t sour.
Wilfork notes that Houston feels like home and maybe it should. There are many familiar faces for Wilfork in Houston, Texas such as Romeo Crennel, Mike Vrabel and the Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.
My feeling is that Brady’s end here will be similar to Wilfork’s. I hope he retires a Patriot, but nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. I think the odds that Brady will retire a Patriot are much greater than they were for Wilfork just based on the position. However if Brady doesn’t retire a member of the Patriots, I think it will end similarly.
Vince Wilfork is first class just as Brady is. Wilfork just wasn’t worth the money for a Patriots team that has other holes to fill. For Wilfork, the Super Bowls, interceptions and taking up two bodies for 10-plus seasons will never be forgotten in New England by fans. Wilfork had it all right in his statement on Twitter – he will forever be a Patriot.