Vince Wilfork Inducted into Patriots Hall of Fame
The New England Patriots announced today that former defensive lineman Vince Wilfork has been voted by the fans as the 32nd inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame. He is just the sixth player to be selected by the fans into the Patriots Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, joining Drew Bledsoe (2011), Troy Brown (2012), Tedy Bruschi (2013), Ty Law (2014) and Kevin Faulk (2016).
“It’s my pleasure to announce Vince Wilfork as our 2022 Patriots Hall of Fame selection,” said Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “For more than a decade, Vince was a dominant defender in the trenches and anchored some of the best defenses in franchise history. His contributions on the field propelled the Patriots to four Super Bowl appearances during his 11-year career. He was a big man with an even bigger personality and a huge heart. He quickly became a fan favorite in New England. I look forward to presenting him his Patriots Hall of Fame jacket.”
The date and time for the 2022 Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be announced once it is confirmed.
Wilfork played 11 of his 13 seasons with the Patriots and helped bring two Super Bowl Championships to New England with victories in Super Bowl XXXIX and Super Bowl XLIX. During his time in New England, Wilfork helped the Patriots defense finish in the top 10 in points allowed eight times.
Wilfork was originally drafted by the Patriots in the first round (21st overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. The University of Miami (Fla.) product spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career with the Patriots before playing his final two seasons with the Houston Texans. While with the Patriots, Wilfork played in 158 games with 148 starts, and helped deliver a 123-35 (.778) record in the regular season during that span. The Patriots also played in 21 playoff games, six AFC Championship Games and four Super Bowls with Wilfork anchoring the defense.
Wilfork served as a defensive co-captain for seven consecutive seasons (2008-14) and earned five Pro Bowl selections (2007, 2009-12). He also earned first-team Associated Press All-Pro Honors in 2012 and second-team Associated Press All-Pro honors in 2007, 2010 and 2011.
Beginning in 2007, the Patriots started a new tradition, inducting one player or head coach into the team’s hall of fame each year. The process for induction involves a panel of media, alumni and staff who collectively nominate the players or head coaches most deserving of induction. After the nominations are made, the committee votes, and the top three tallies become that year’s finalists. The Patriots then give fans the opportunity to vote online to select each year’s hall of fame inductee. The Patriots are the only team in the NFL that allows their fans to make the final selection for enshrinement into the franchise’s highest honor.
The New England Patriots held their annual nomination committee meeting on Wednesday, April 6, to vote for this year’s candidates for induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame. The finalists (listed in alphabetical order) were offensive lineman Logan Mankins, linebacker Mike Vrabel and Wilfork. All three players played key roles in helping the Patriots to the NFL’s only 16-0 regular season in NFL history in 2007.
In addition to the annual selection by the fans, a senior selection committee meets every other year to discuss Patriots who have been retired at least 25 years for possible induction. The candidate for induction must receive 80 percent of the vote to receive the honor.
The only other entry into the Patriots Hall of Fame is under the category of contributor, recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions to the Patriots franchise. The honor is bestowed by Patriots ownership. To date, Kraft has selected three people for induction, the franchise founder Billy Sullivan, the voice of the Patriots Gil Santos and long-time cheerleader director Tracy Sormanti.