Texans general manager Rick Smith expects Wilfork to retire this offseason, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Wilfork is currently an unrestricted free agent after spending the past two seasons with the Texans. At 35 years old and with 13 NFL seasons in the books, Wilfork is obviously coming to the end of his playing career. While the five-time Pro Bowler said last month he's in no rush to make a decision, Smith's expectation echoes the sentiment that Wilfork has played his final snap.
Wilfork has not made a decision on his retirement at this point in time, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. "I'm in no rush," Wilfork stated. Wilfork, an unrestricted free agent, started all but one game for the Texans this past season and remained an integral part of the defensive line. While he isn't the same player he was in his prime, the 35-year-old nose tackle can still be an effective component of a defense in the right scheme and should thus be able to secure a job if he decides to continue his playing career.
Wilfork is leaning toward retiring this offseason, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Wilfork said he thinks the Texans' season-ending playoff loss to the Patriots was the final game of his career, which coincidentally began in New England 13 years ago. With two Super Bowls and five Pro Bowls over that span, Wilfork has been a hugely impactful defensive anchor since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2004. Should the 35-year-old indeed confirm his retirement in the coming months, Wilfork will finish with 559 career tackles, 16 sacks, 12 fumbles forced, four fumble recoveries and three interceptions.
Wilfork had two tackles and a quarterback hit in the Texans' 22-17 win over the Colts in Week 14. Wilfork made two monster plays in the game. On a second-and-goal at the 2-yard line, he tackled Frank Gore for 1-yard loss, the play that preceded Jadeveon Clowney's strip-sack of quarterback Andrew Luck. And on the Colts' final play of the game, he hit Luck and forced the incompletion that secured Houston's victory. With just 19 tackles and zero sacks for the season, Wilfork isn't an IDP candidate, but has some real-world value as an interior presence.
Wilfork (groin) is active Monday night against the Raiders. Wilfork was previously questionable with a groin injury but had always been expected to play. Per usual, the 12-year veteran will likely assume his usual starting nose tackle role.