It would appear that the Vince Wilfork era in New England has come to an end.
Speculations began shortly after the Patriots won the Super Bowl that maybe Big Vince had played his last down with the team; he will be 34 coming into next season, he wasn't as productive as he has been in years past, and he was to count for almost $9 million against the cap next season. Those speculations became more or less a reality this morning, when Wilfork released this Tweet:
Morning guys ... Please read below this will be my only statement pic.twitter.com/gClv03hqet— Vince Wilfork (@wilfork75) March 5, 2015
New England will be declining Wilfork's $8.9 million option, which means he'll become a free agent on Tuesday. Bittersweet to say the least, as Wilfork has been with the team for 11 years and was the anchor, in every sense of the word, of that defensive line. If he truly is done in New England, he'll finish his career here with 516 tackles, 16 sacks, four forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries and three interceptions. On the plus side, New England now has a nice extra chunk of change to lock up other players, so look for another move to follow not long after this one.
There are just too many jokes about the size of the hole Wilfork is leaving with his departure, and it's too early in the morning, so I think I'll just leave it at that. Thanks for everything, Big Vince. It's been one hell of a run.