Vince Wilfork is hanging up his cleats. The longtime New England Patriots star who played the last two seasons for the Houston Texans announced his retirement from football on Monday, releasing a video on Twitter that doubled as an announcement for his official retirement party, which will take place on September 7. That's the same night the defending-champion Patriots open the NFL season against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In classic Wilfork fashion, the video featured the big man hanging up his cleats and working a grill in his overalls.
"No more cleats. I'm moving on to smoked meats, fellas. Peace out! I'm outta here! Later!" Wilfork exclaimed in the video, while shaking his butt and smoking a cigar. "Ha-ha! You thought it was over, huh? I'll be back, but not on that field. Peace out!"
Wilfork of course became a star of "Hard Knocks" when he was with the Houston Texans, which is where we first saw those overalls -- and his grilling skills.
Wilfork was drafted by the Patriots in 2004 out of the University of Miami, where he was part of what is considered one of the best college football teams of all time. (The 2001 Miami Hurricanes.) He spent the first 11 years of his career with the Patriots, a time during which he was one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL -- especially against the run. He made five Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams (one first team, three second teams), and was a two-time Super Bowl champion. He finished out his career in Houston, helping the Texans became one of the NFL's best defenses over his last two seasons.