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Vince Wilfork: “I Think I Have Played My Last NFL Football Game”

One of the true characters of the NFL appears to be calling it a career.

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v New England Patriots
If this is it, thank you, Vince.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After the Texans’ season ended in New England last night, Vince Wilfork told the media he’s likely retiring.

"I think I have played my last NFL football game," Wilfork said. "I will take the time and do my due diligence and see if I really want to retire. We will see. I don't know how long that will take. I will see.

"It doesn't change the fact that I enjoyed every bit of my career, I enjoyed 11 great years in New England and enjoyed two great years in Texas with unbelievable teammates. I couldn't have any better teammates from both organizations. You talk about the organizations and you talk about top of the class. These are two owners [Patriots' Robert Kraft and Texans' Bob McNair] that anyone would love to play for."

If this is in fact the end, it’s fitting that Wilfork’s last game was at Gillette Stadium (props to the crowd at Gillette last night for giving the big man a standing ovation at the end of the game). He had a fantastic career. Although he’ll be remembered as a Patriot, Texans fans won’t forget Vince Wilfork. Nor will his teammates in Houston.

"That's crushing," said Pro Bowl defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was mentored by Wilfork. "He pushed me every day. I appreciate him. I tell the coaches, 'We need him.' He was a big, big, big help for this defense to have him out there. He's going to be missed next year."

In terms of how Wilfork’s probable retirement will affect the Texans, it stands to reason that his replacement is already on the roster in D.J. Reader. Reader had a very solid rookie season and looks poised to build on that next year.

Congrats to Vince Wilfork and his family. His contributions to the Texans over the last two years ensure he’ll be remembered fondly in both of the cities in which he played as a professional.