NT Wilfork retires, swaps 'cleats for smoked meats'

Here are 20 fast facts about New England Patriots defensive tackle Vincent Wilfork

Here are 20 fast facts about New England Patriots defensive tackle Vincent Wilfork

"No more cleats, I'm moving on to smoked meats, fella", Wilfork proclaimed in his own unique style.

Wilfork was drafted by New England in 2004 and anchored the Pats' defense line for 11 seasons.

But again, the legend of Big Vince Wilfork isn't confined exclusively to the field.

The 35-year-old also announced a "farewell tailgate" September 7 in New England.

Vince Wilfork is one of the most colourful players to grace an National Football League field in recent years.

But Wilfork was able to handle two and sometimes three offensive linemen at a time, freeing up teammates to get the glory of a sack or run stuff.

Listed (generously) at 325 pounds, Wilfork was incredibly nimble and athletic for a man his size, which surprised many.

Wilfork, an avid fan of smokers and all things grill-related, has partnered with Kingsford for an endorsement deal.

Wilfork revealed to the world why he's quitting the game in a video posting on social media, letting the public know in simple terms what the reasons were for his decision. Fittingly Wilfork's final game was in New England, where the Texans were eliminated from last year's playoffs.

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.

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