3:25pm: Wilfork’s two-year contract is worth $9MM, with $5MM in guaranteed money, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
2:33pm: After spending his entire NFL career with the Patriots, Vince Wilfork be joining another AFC team for the coming season. The veteran defensive tackle announced on Twitter today that he’ll be signing with the Texans. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), it’s a two-year deal for Wilfork and the Texans.
“We will be starting a new chapter in our lives as Houston Texans,” Wilfork said in his statement, after thanking the Kraft family and the Patriots. “The coaching staff in Houston has made his new exciting transition feel like home to us.”
Wilfork, 33, has spent all 11 years of his NFL career in New England, playing 158 regular season games for the Pats, and starting 148 of those. An anchor in the middle of the defensive line in New England for the last decade, Wilfork looked like he may be leaving the team a year ago, before the two sides worked out a new deal to keep him around for the club’s Super Bowl 2014 season. However, the Pats declined to exercise his option for the 2015 season, making him a free agent.
In Houston, Wilfork will be joining a front seven that already features J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, which should make for an interesting defensive front in 2015. Wilfork figures to play the nose tackle position in Houston, after the team didn’t get a whole lot out of Ryan Pickett and Jerrell Powe at that spot in 2014. Second-year pro Louis Nix may be the future for the Texans at nose tackle, but Wilfork represents a very nice stopgap option until Nix is ready to assume the role.
The former Patriot will also be reuniting with a number of familiar faces in Houston. Outside of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, Romeo Crennel and Mike Vrabel are among the other one-time members of the Patriots’ organization who are now in Houston.
Wilfork’s deal with the Texans is the second notable contract agreement today for the team. Houston is also bringing aboard free agent wideout Cecil Shorts.