Good night, sweet Vince

NFL: Green Bay Packers at New England PatriotsSeveral media outlets are reporting that nose tackle Vince Wilfork has asked for his release from the Patriots.  I can’t say I’m really surprised.  Given his age and his body type, there is no guarantee that #75 would ever be the same player after tearing his achilles tendon in a week 4 game against Atlanta.  The Pats have a lot of holes to fill (especially if Julian Edelman bolts for the Turds…er, Browns) and they just spent a lot of money on CB Darelle Revis.  Big Vince is a proud man, and the likelihood of him restructuring his contract to a team-friendly deal was slim to none.  The Pats front office has never been long on sentimentality, and despite what Wilfork has meant to the team in his ten seasons in Foxboro, they’re not going to suffer a $7.5 million cap hit to keep a lesser version of him on the roster.

Vince has been one of my favorite Patriots for a long time.  He’s thoughtful and well spoken and has always exemplified the team concept that has been the hallmark of the Belichick era.  It won’t be quite the same without him anchoring the center of the defensive line, and I can only hope that the Pats find someone even 75% as capable as he was for the last decade.  Here are three of my favorite moments from Wilfork’s career in New England.

Vince blows up Donald Jones in a 2012 game against Buffalo.  I’m pretty sure this hit triggered seismometers across the northeast.

His interception in a 2011 game against the Chargers.  The image of his belly slapping off his thighs as he rumbles down the field is priceless.

Vince’s Big Y commercials always served as comic relief during breaks in the action on the field.

~ by schlippo on March 13, 2014.

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