For the first time in his 11-year NFL career, Vince Wilfork is looking at other opportunities.
The former New England Patriots defensive tackle, who announced two weeks ago that the organization decided not to pick up his option for 2015, has been tied to several teams since the free agency began Tuesday night.
“There are about five or six other teams, mostly AFC teams, couple in the NFC, that are looking to add a player of Vince’s magnitude,” Wilfork’s agent, Kennard McGuire, told FOX26 in Houston.
Wilfork was due a $4 million bonus for being on the Patriots’ roster at the start of the new league year, and he was set to earn $3 million in base salary with $8.9 million counting against the cap. Though instead, the organization that drafted him chose to save roughly $8 million in cap space by allowing the 33-year-old to test free agency.
Having spent his entire career with one team, McGuire noted that familiarity will be key for the 2004 Patriots first-round pick, seven-time captain, five-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion.
And that familiarity could conceivably draw No. 75 to the Houston Texans, who run a 3-4 front under former Patriots coordinators Romeo Crennel and Bill O’Brien.
“It’s no different than Andre [Johnson] when Andre made his decision,” McGuire added. “That decision was based off of familiarity, and with Vince you have those same elements.”
A former teammate of Wilfork’s, linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, is also in Houston. But, as for if the Texans are in the lead to land his client at this time, McGuire, who’s based in Texas, indicated that the field is even.
“I would not put anyone in the lead, but I would say that they have a legitimate shot to get him.” McGuire said. “Once again it’s because of familiarity, and if you look across the league guys do tend to migrate toward areas of familiarity.”