Patriots send Vince Wilfork into retirement

Vince Wilfork officially retires as a member of the New England Patriots. (WJAR)

After 13 years in the NFL, including 11 with New England, Patriots great Vince Wilfork called it a career Wednesday at a retirement presser in Foxborough.

Wilfork, who earned a pair of Super Bowl rings and was named to five Pro Bowls, was praised by the man who drafted him.

"I'll just say that it was truly an honor to have coached him,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said, calling Wilfork a leader, as well as “the best defensive lineman that I have ever coached.”

Wilfork finished his career with the Houston Texans, but told Sports Team 10 that there's no other place he would rather retire than Gillette Stadium.

"This is home to me -- all the memories I made over the years,” he said. “The guy that you guys saw and the career that I had -- it would've happened without the Patriots. I always wanted to come back and be a Patriot for life.”

Wilfork said he only has one regret .

"That my parents didn't get a chance to see their son live out his dream,” he said. “I told them at the age of four of what I was going to be. But I know they have the best seat in the house.”

Wilfork, who finishes his career with 559 tackles, 26 passes defensed, 16 sacks, four forced fumbles and three interceptions, now plans to fish, relax, as well as grill, now that his career has ended.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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