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From cleats to smoked meats: Vince Wilfork announces retirement in a charcoal ad

Veteran NFL defensive lineman Vince Wilfork strongly suggested he would retire during the offseason after his Houston Texans lost to his former team, the New England Patriots, in the divisional round of the playoffs in January.

“I think I have played my last NFL football game,” the 35-year-old Wilfork said following the Patriots’ 34-16 triumph. “I will take the time and do my due diligence and sit back and see if I really want to retire. We’ll see. I don’t know how long that will take.”

It took until Monday, when the barbecue- and fun-loving Wilfork officially tweeted his decision to retire in a video that doubles as an advertisement for Kingsford Charcoal.

“No more cleats, I’m moving on to smoked meats, fellas,” Wilfork says in the video, which also features the 325-pounder smoking a cigar, dancing in denim overalls and wearing a hat that reads, simply, RIBS. “Peace out! I’m out of here. Later!”

If sponsored retirement videos are the future, Wilfork, who played 13 seasons in the NFL, has set a high bar for hilarity. Before he traded the pigskin for pig roasts, Wilfork won two Super Bowls with the Patriots, the team with which he spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career after being selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft out of Miami (Fla.). The five-time Pro Bowl selection signed a two-year deal with the Texans before the 2015 season and started 31 games over the last two years. In May, Wilfork reiterated that he would take his time to make “the right decision” about whether to retire. Ultimately, the call of the grill was too difficult to ignore.

Wilfork’s wife, Bianca, shared a message of support for her husband’s decision in an Instagram post.

“I’ve never…

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