Vince Wilfork will be taking his rightful spot among the greatest players in New England Patriots franchise history soon. As was announced by the team on Tuesday, the former defensive tackle has been voted this year’s inductee into the Hall.
Wilfork, 40, was one of the three finalists competing for the honor this year. He headed into the fan vote as the favorite and indeed beat out former teammates Mike Vrabel and Logan Mankins.
Wilfork originally joined the Patriots in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft and went on to spend 11 seasons with the team. One of the best defensive tackles of his era and a cornerstone of New England’s defense on two Super Bowl runs, he appeared in a combined 179 regular season and playoff games for the club.
A five-time Pro Bowler and member of the Patriots’ Teams of the 2000s and 2010s as well as their 50th Anniversary squad, Wilfork left to join the Houston Texans in 2015. Despite his two-year stint in Houston, however, his status as a Patriots legend never changed.
Now, Wilfork is off to the team’s Hall of Fame to become its 32nd inductee.
“For more than a decade, Vince was a dominant defender in the trenches and anchored some of the best defenses in franchise history,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement.
“His contributions on the field propelled the Patriots to four Super Bowl appearances during his 11-year career. He was a big man with an even bigger personality and a huge heart. He quickly became a fan favorite in New England. I look forward to presenting him his Patriots Hall of Fame jacket.”