Wilfork and Brady team up for confusing Intel ads

Wilfork and Brady team up for confusing Intel ads

Vince Wilfork and Tom Brady are on the same team again, kind of. 

Wilfork, an 11-year Patriot who says he will likely retire after two season with the Texans, posted an ad on Twitter Wednesday for Intel in which he designed a Tom Brady graphic to make Brady look more like himself. I would explain what the product is but quite frankly I’ve watched it twice and have no idea what any of it is. I feel like Mike Felger looking at an email. 

Anyway, whatever the product is, Brady endorses it, too. Last week, Intel put out an ad that featured Brady doing mundane things and looking cooler because of the angle at which it was shot. Again, absolutely no clue what the product is. There’s no mention of anything you can buy. They say “Intel 360 replay” but that’s about it. 

Anyway, you can design a Tom Brady graphic, too. As Wilfork’s tweet indicates, doing so enters one into a contest to win an autographed picture. Your art can also be in a video that Intel puts together. 

Vince Wilfork: 'I think I've played my last NFL game'

Vince Wilfork: 'I think I've played my last NFL game'

FOXBORO -- When Vince Wilfork walked off the Gillette Stadium turf following his team's 34-16 loss to the Patriots, he waved to the crowd, he slapped the hands of Patriots fans lining the visitor's tunnel, and he blew kisses to the those he couldn't reach overhead. 

He looked like a man who was saying goodbye, and later in the locker room he sounded like one too.

PATRIOTS 34, TEXANS 16

“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.”

Wilfork hinted at the possibility of retirement earlier this week, and he said that if he does decide to call it a career his decision will be final.

"It's hard to walk away from something that you love and have been playing for so long. But we can't play the game forever," he told Patriots reporters on a conference call. "That's a decision I'll make at the end of the season and give it some time and some thought and I'll weigh different things and go from there.

"But whenever I make that decision, I'm full-fledged making the decision. I won't be one of those ones to say no I'm not retired and coming back and play that game. When I hang my cleats up, I'm gonna hanging them up for good."

If that was the last game of Wilfork's career, it wasn't a bad way to go out. He helped the Texans defense frustrate a potent Patriots offense to the point that his old pal Tom Brady was still visibly disappointed even in victory. And he did it in front of a fan base that cheered him for more than a decade, against a team and a coach that drafted him in the first round back in 2004. 

"It's never special to lose," Wilfork said. 

Maybe not, but the moment he shared with fans as he said his goodbyes certainly seemed to be.

Wilfork's road to New England included a Houston pass

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Wilfork's road to New England included a Houston pass

Saturday could very well be the last game of Vince Wilfork’s prolific career. He’ll play it for the Texans against the Patriots.

Of course, he’ll always be associated with the latter far more than with the former. But what if the Texans drafted him when they could (and should) have?

This isn’t an “every team failed by not drafting Tom Brady in the first round” thing; each draft has its diamonds in the rough. Vince Wilfork wasn’t a diamond in the rough, though. He was a top prospect in the 2004 draft, ranked 11th by ESPN’s Scouts, Inc. and 13th on Mel Kiper Jr.’s big board. The Texans needed help on the defensive line, played a 3-4 and had the 10th overall pick. 

They would end up going defensive tackle in the first round a year later (Travis Johnson), but their passing on Wilfork in 2004 created a slide that did wonders for the defending champion Patriots, who should also remain grateful to the Ravens for trading them what ended up being the 21st pick in that draft.

Holding a top-10 pick, as Houston did, means being able to go in a number of different directions and come away with what could be a stud. If the Texans wanted to soften the annual beating David Carr took, they could have taken Shawn Andrews or Vernon Carey. If they wanted to pull the plug on Carr altogether after two seasons, they could have opted for Ben Roethlisberger.  

That Texans team was dreadful against the pass (31st in passing yards allowed), so Charlie Casserly went cornerback and took Dunta Robinson out of South Carolina. 

Had the Texans gone D-tackle, they’d have had their choice of Wilfork and Oklahoma’s Tommie Harris. By taking neither, that choice was passed on to the D-tackle-needy Bears, who opted for Harris. That pick was nothing to sneeze at, as Harris was a three-time Pro Bowler for Chicago. 

Once the Bears took Harris, the possibility of Wilfork falling to a team -- the Patriots -- that had just lost Ted Washington in free agency was in play. Six teams needed to turn their attention elsewhere and it would be a reality. 

That draft was considered to be loaded at receiver, so it stood to reason that at least one of those teams would take one. The Buccaneers did, taking Michael Clayton 15th overall and making him one of what remains an NFL-record seven receivers chosen in the first round. 

With top-rated guard Shawn Andrew on the board, the Eagles traded up from No. 28 to 16 to grab him. The Broncos, who had previously traded Deltha O’Neal to Cincinnati to move from No. 24 to 17, went outside linebacker with D.J. Williams. 

Wilfork wasn’t the only guy starting to slide, and that helped the Pats’ chances of getting him. The Saints got good value with Will Smith at No. 18, at which point the Vikings and Dolphins flipped the No. 19 and 20 picks. The Dolphins took Carey, and given that the Vikings had selected Kevin Williams 19th overall a year earlier and also had Chris Hovan, they didn’t seem a landing spot for Wilfork. They weren’t, as Minnesota took highly regarded defensive end Kenechi Udeze. 

Had the Patriots not already shipped a second-round pick to Cincinnati for Corey Dillon that offseason, perhaps they might have had a decision to make with Steven Jackson having also slid. Taking Wilfork was a no-brainer, however, and his selection played a major factor in them getting to four Super Bowls and winning two. Wilfork was a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro (first team once, second team three times). 

Robinson had a fine six seasons for the Texans before money ruined the relationship and he fled for Atlanta in free agency. The Texans obviously ended up getting Wilfork in the 2014 offseason, but it’s interesting to wonder what the trickle-down effect for both franchises would have been had they taken him in ’04.