The New England Patriots decided not to pick up the option on defensive tackle Vince Wilfork's contract, he announced on social media on Thursday. Willfork will become a free agent and is eligible to sign with any team.
Wilfork and the Patriots restructured the veteran's contract prior to last season. The two sides agreed on a one-year deal with a two-year option. In parting ways with Wilfork, the Patriots will save about $8 million in cap space.
New England would be open to bringing back Wilfork on a reduced contract, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
"I'm in a good place I have a great relationship with the Patriots organization," Wilfork said in a message posted to his Twitter account. "Please know how blessed my family and I have been to be able to play 11 years in New England for a amazing organization." He added, "Can I still play football? Hell yea! do I still love football? Hell yea ! One thing for sure is I will always be a fixture in New England forever ...."
Wilfork, 33, started 16 games last season after playing only four in 2013 due to a torn Achilles. With Wilfork anchoring their defensive line, the Patriots ranked eighth in the league in rushing yards allowed per carry.
Wilfork won two Super Bowls with the Patriots and appeared in four.