Patriots

Texans GM: The expectation is that Wilfork will retire

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Texans GM: The expectation is that Wilfork will retire

Vince Wilfork has acknowledged that he's thought about retiring, and now it sounds like maybe he's already embarked on that chapter of his life. 

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Texans general manager Rick Smith said on Friday that he doesn't believe the 35-year-old defensive lineman will be continuing his playing career in 2017.

"I haven't spoken to Vince Wilfork since last season," Smith said. "My expectation is that Vince is not playing anymore."

If that is the case, Wilfork will have played his final NFL game at Gillette Stadium when Houston fell in the Divisional Round to the Patriots a few months ago. 

Wilfork, who is technically an unrestricted free agent, was named to five Pro Bowls and won two Super Bowls in New England. He was also the No. 2 ranked Patriots player on Tom E. Curran's list of Top 50 Patriots in the Bill Belichick Era for his productivitiy, his longevity and his impact on the locker room.

After losing to the Patritos in January, Wilfork said he felt as though he was done.

“I’ll take my time to think about it, but I think I’ve played my last NFL game,” Wilfork said. “I’ll do my due diligence, sit back and see if I really want to retire. I enjoyed every bit of my career. I enjoyed 11 great years in New England, and I enjoyed two great years in Texas with these teammates, unbelievable teammates. I couldn’t have any better teammates in both organizations.”

As he trotted off the turf that night, he waved to the crowd, slapped the hands of Patriots fans lining the visitor's tunnel, and blew kisses to the those he couldn't reach overhead. He looked like a man who was saying goodbye.

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Did the 2001 New England Patriots believe they were launching a dynasty after winning Super Bowl XXXVI? Probably not.

But the defending Super Bowl champions appear a bit more confident.

Days after signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the richest contract in North American sports, the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a four-year, $85 million contract extension with defensive tackle Chris Jones, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

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So, how did Jones celebrate his new deal with Kansas City? By declaring an apparent continuation of the Chiefs' "dynasty."

Jones has every reason to be confident in his team, which kept its core intact after winning Super Bowl LIV and is the current Super Bowl LV favorite.

But Patriots fans who watched Bill Belichick and Tom Brady lead New England to six championships over two decades might view Jones' "dynasty" talk as premature.

After all, no team has won back-to-back titles since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004, and no team aside from New England and Seattle (2013 and 2014) has even reached the Super Bowl in back-to-back years since 2000.

And after signing Cam Newton, the Patriots may believe their own dynasty isn't dead yet despite Brady's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

History won't stop Jones and the Chiefs from setting lofty goals, however, as Mahomes said recently he's eyeing Brady's record of six Super Bowl titles. Better get started soon.

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

If you rooted for Tom Brady and don’t root for Cam Newton, you are a hypocrite. 

In 2014, the Patriots started the season 2-2 and after a humiliating loss on Monday Night Football in Kansas City, some idiot — that would be me — declared that the Pats had lost their soul.

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Of course, I was wrong, as the greatest quarterback ever went on to the lead the Pats to their fourth Super Bowl win with a big assist from Malcolm Butler. 

That was Part 2 of the "Tom Brady: Me Against the World" trilogy.

Of course, the original was getting drafted as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan. Part 3 was Deflategate when Brady won his fifth Super Bowl after he was suspended for four games.

For the purpose of this writing, we focus on Part 2 because some thought Brady’s best days were behind him. (Many feel the same about Cam Newton now.) Even Bill Belichick said Tom was getting older and the plans for his successor in Jimmy Garoppolo were laid out before us ... and Brady.  

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

But once again, Brady defied the odds and forced Belichick to trade Jimmy G. to San Francisco. Needing to prove he still had "it," Brady reinvented himself and became a physical specimen, defying Father Time.

Can Cam Newton do the same? He is not as old now as Brady was then, but this guy was left for dead by the rest of the NFL and has even more to prove than Brady ever did.

If you backed Tom Brady, how can you not do the same for Cam?

Look, I love Tom Brady the football player. Off the field, I think he’s lost his mind, but there has been no better player in the history of sports than TB12. (See Tom, I used your logo. Happy?)

However, right now I am in Cam’s corner like I was in Brady’s when he was a Patriot. And you should be too.