BOSTON (CBS) — Vince Wilfork hinted on Tuesday that his playing days could be over in the near future.
The 35-year-old Texans nose tackle told reporters that, for the first time in his 13-year NFL career, he’s considering retirement following this season.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about,” Wilfork told reporters, via The Houston Chronicle. “It is a possibility. I’ve been playing for a while. I love this game. One of the hardest pills to swallow is when you leave something you love. I still love the game. My body feels good, but do I want to continue? It’s going to be tough. I’m not walking out banged up or with nothing left in the tank. For me, it’s more mental than anything. When the season’s over, I’m going to really take a look at what I want to do, if I want to continue or not.”
Wilfork played 15 games for the Texans in 2016, amassing nine tackles and 12 assists. He’s set to become a free agent after the season.
He spent his first 11 seasons with the New England Patriots after being a first-round pick out of Miami in 2004, anchoring some of New England’s most impressive defensive units. He won Super Bowls to start and end his Patriots career, earning five Pro Bowl nods along the way to go with a First-Team All Pro honor in 2012.
If the Texans beat the Oakland Raiders in this weekend’s Wild Card round (and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins), the Texans would face the Patriots in the Divisional Round, meaning Wilfork’s final game could be against his former team.