Vince Wilfork has been a fixture with the New England Patriots since his rookie season in 2004.
The veteran defensive tackle tweeted Thursday that he will still be a fixture in the area ... just no longer in a Patriots uniform.
"I want to take this time to just let everyone know that I was informed on Tuesday that the patriots will not be picking up my option," Wilfork wrote in a lengthy message that he posted as an image on Twitter. "I'm in a good place I have a great relationship with the Patriots organization. Please know how blessed my family and I have been to be able to play 11 years in New England for an amazing organization."
The five-time Pro Bowler, who signed a three-year, $22.5-million contract last year, would have been owed a $4-million roster bonus next week and up to $8 million total next season, none of it guaranteed.
Wilfork came back from a torn Achilles last year to return to the form he had shown in the previous two years leading up to the injury, with 28 tackles and 25 assists. Still, it was a far cry from his peak years from 2005-2010, when he registered 40 tackles or more four times.
This might seem like an ideal time for Wilfork to consider retirement, since it would leave his career bookended by Super Bowl victories. But while he states, "I will always be a fixture in New England forever," Wilford also claims he has "lots of gas still in the tank."
In other words, he's got a big decision ahead of him.
"I will take my time" to think things through and "take into consideration many things but mainly my family and see where life goes from there," Wilfork wrote. "But regardless remember I will always remain a New Englander a Patriot forever."