FOXBOROUGH – With the New England Patriots declining the team option for nose tackle Vince Wilfork early Thursday, could the two-time Super Bowl champion take his talents to Space City?
Wilfork, 33, was due a $4 million roster bonus on March 10, and had the Patriots picked it up, would have earned a $3 million base salary, thus counting $8.9 towards the Pats salary cap, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com With the move, New England creates $8,06 million in cap space.
Wilfork would tweet out a picture of his official statement thanking fellow teammates, vehemently stating the he can still play. Now a free agent, teams looking for a space-eating 3-4 nose tackle capable of playing the zero technique can make a run at the former Miami Hurricane.
Morning guys … Please read below this will be my only statement pic.twitter.com/gClv03hqet
— Vince Wilfork (@wilfork75) March 5, 2015
One team that could make for an interesting landing spot—pardon the pun—for the five-time All-Pro and 11-year veteran could be the Houston Texans. Already loaded on defense with two-time (2012, 2014) Defensive Player of The Year in defensive end J.J. Watt, top overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft Jadeveon Clowney and strong side linebacker Brian Cushing, playing under former defensive coordinator—and current Texans DC—Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 would make a lot of sense, as Wilfork would not have to worry about acclimating himself to a new system or surroundings.
In addition to the prospect of playing under Crennel and his 3-4 defense, Wilfork would also be playing under former Patriots offensive coordinator—and current Texans head coach—Bill O’Brien.
With second-year nose tackle Louis Nix III returning from IR after knee surgery that caused him to miss his entire rookie season and veteran Ryan Pickett unlikely to return after signing a one-year, $955,000 contract according to Spotrac.com, Wilfork in a Texans uniform in 2015-16 makes too much sense.
The question is; can Wilfork see himself making such a move to a team in transition such as the Texans, at this point in his career? What do you think?