HOUSTON (AP) Longtime New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork has signed with the Houston Texans.
Wilfork announced the decision on Twitter on Monday, then the Texans confirmed the signing. The 33-year-old has spent his entire 11-year career with the Patriots.
Now he'll join a Houston unit led by Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and that features last year's No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, who was injured for most of 2014.
The 6-foot-2, 325-pound Wilfork started all 16 games for the Patriots last year and had 53 tackles, two for a losses, and an interception, according to the Texans. He was a locker room leader in New England, as well.
In his tweet Wilfork, a five-time Pro Bowler, thanked the Kraft family and the Patriots, and said the coaching staff in Houston has ''made this new exciting transition feel like home to us.''
Said Patriots coach Bill Belichick: ''He is the best defensive linemen I ever coached, an all-time great Patriot whose place on our team will be missed, but whose remarkable career as a Patriot will be remembered forever.''
Houston also signed wide receiver Cecil Shorts III, who was with Jacksonville. He led the Jaguars with 53 catches last season for 577 yards. A four-year veteran has been Jacksonville's leading receiver over that span.
The Texans release long-time star receiver Andre Johnson, who signed with Indianapolis.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL