Patriots

Slimmed-down Wilfork recalls hilarious, NSFW encounter with Belichick

Patriots
Vince Wilfork Bill Belichick

When Vince Wilfork retired from the NFL in 2017, "Big Vince" retired along with him.

The former New England Patriots defensive tackle, who weighed (at least) 325 pounds during his playing days, has lost a remarkable amount of weight in NFL retirement and showed off his slimmed-down figure Thursday at Gillette Stadium while donning his new Patriots Hall of Fame jacket.

If this svelte version of Wilfork surprises you, you're not alone. The two-time Super Bowl champion told a great story Thursday of the first time he saw Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after shedding so many pounds.

According to Wilfork, the encounter happened "last year" in Miami when he visited the Patriots at their team hotel ahead of their game against the Dolphins.

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"Bill was being Bill. He was on his treadmill working out, and I was like, 'I want to go see Coach,'" Wilfork recalled. "He's on the treadmill working out, and I come in and he's like, 'What the f---?' What??'

"And I'm trying to talk to him, and the only thing he (could) say was, 'Oh my gosh, you look good! You look like you can still play.' And I was like, 'OK coach, listen, I just came to see you.' He couldn't stop saying how good I looked and everything."

 

Wilfork's anecdote reflects the human side of Belichick, who has strong relationships with many of his former players and has quite the sense of humor behind the scenes.

But while Wilfork was proud of the pounds he shed in retirement -- he attributed his weight loss to a focus on health and a "stress-free" life away from the NFL -- he has zero interest in showing Belichick he can still suit up.

"I was one of those players who said, 'No matter how old I get, I can play football.' That was my mindset," Wilfork said. "But I'm here to tell you that I can't play. I'm officially retired from football. So don't ask me to get in my stance. Don't ask me ... 'Do I have one play in me?' No. I'm just here for looks now."

Wilfork will officially become the 32rd member of the Patriots Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

Editor's Note: Catch Wilfork every Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Boston's "The Gameplan," where he'll join host Tom Giles to help break down the Patriots' upcoming opponent.