Big Vince was on-hand at Gillette Stadium for a retirement news conference where he reflected on his career. He was also joined by team owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick, who both had nothing but glowing things to say about him.
"It was truly an honor to have coached him," Belichick said. "Best defensive lineman I have ever coached."
Belichick also noted that one of the biggest surprises of his career was when Wilfork was still available during the 2004 draft when the Patriots were picking at 21.
As for Wilfork's future plans, he says right now he has none and he's alright with that.
"I don’t have no plans," Wilfork said. "For 20 years I’ve been on a schedule, and the last thing I want to do is jump into something right now. I’m going to take some time. It might be a year or so I’m going to take off and kind of do things I want to do. Wake up when I want to, fish when I want to, golf when I want … just live life. Let my body relax, let my body get a feel of what life without having workouts and no schedule, being here, being there, just let my body relax and just go."
"This game is so demanding," Wilfork said. "The sacrifices you have to give to stay on top of that mountain, it’s a lot of sacrifices. It’s a lot of treatment, it’s a lot of film studies, it’s a lot of practices, a lot of watching film. It’s so much that goes into it, just playing on Sundays or Monday nights, it’s a lot.
"I always told people if I’m not at my best, I can’t play this game. I’m not going to take no money from anybody, steal no money from anybody if I’m not at my best. That’s personal for me. I think it’s wrong. A lot of guys don’t, but that’s how I am. So when I felt like I was tired of the grind and mentally I was exhausted, and I didn’t want to do it anymore, I called it quits. I could’ve easily played a couple more years and stole some money here and there. I could have done all that if I wanted to. Physically, I’m 100 percent healthy. Nothing hurt on me. I could go lift weights, I could go run. I could do whatever I want to do right now as we speak, but the grind mentally, that’s the one thing."
Wilfork said his one regret during his career is that his parents were never able to see him play in the NFL. Both his mother and father passed away in 2002 from health complications while he was still at the University of Miami.
Wilfork ended his press conference by telling his parents he loved them.