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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, March 16, 2015
HOUSTON – The Houston Texans have signed unrestricted free agent DT Vince Wilfork and WR Cecil Shorts III, it was announced today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Wilfork (6-2, 325) played in 158 games over 11 seasons with the New England Patriots and served as a defensive co-captain for seven straight years (2008-14). He helped the Patriots defense finish in the top 10 in points allowed nine times (2004, 2006-10, 2012-14) and has been named to the Pro Bowl roster five times. In Wilfork’s 158 career regular season games, the Patriots were 123-35 (.778) and won two Super Bowls.
Last season, Wilfork finished with 53 total tackles, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hit, an interception, and two passes defensed. He also became the Patriot’s all-time leader in interceptions by a defensive lineman following his third career interception in Week 3 vs. the Oakland Raiders.
The 33-year-old Wilfork was drafted in the first round (21st overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. He was named to both the NFL Pro Bowl Roster and the All-Pro team in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. For his career, Wilfork has tallied 516 tackles, 16.0 sacks, three interceptions, 25 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, and 10 fumble recoveries.
Wilfork played three seasons at the University of Miami before forgoing his senior season and entering the 2004 NFL Draft. In his final season with the Hurricanes, Wilfork recorded a career-high 64 tackles and 20 quarterback hurries on his way to being named First-team All-Big East. Wilfork also won the 2002 BCS National Championship at Miami and competed in shot put with the Hurricanes track and field team.
Shorts III (6-0, 202), led the Jacksonville Jaguars in receptions last season with 53 and was second on the team with 577 receiving yards in 2014. The fifth-year pro started 12 of 13 games and finished the season with one touchdown reception. He finished with a pair of 100-plus yard receiving games, with his season high 119 yards on five receptions against the Dallas Cowboys from London.
Drafted in the fourth round (45th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Mount Union, Shorts III has led the Jaguars in receptions (176), receiving yards (2,343) and touchdowns (12) since entering the NFL. His first career reception came against the Texans in 2011, a 25-yard gain for a Jaguars first down.
Shorts III was a four-year letterman and three-time All-America selection at Mount Union. He set several Ohio Athletic Conference records and etched his name in NCAA Division III record books, finishing his career with 78 career touchdowns and 468 points scored, the second-most in conference history. He accounted for 5,989 all-purpose yards (108.9 yards per game), the second-most in conference history. Shorts' career totals included 259 receptions for 4,705 yards and 63 TDs. Currently, his 63 career receiving TDs are most in school history and second in NCAA Division III history.
Following are the free agents the Texans signed (4):
|QB||Brian Hoyer||(6-2, 215)||Unrestricted free agent (Cleveland)|
|FS||Rahim Moore||(6-1, 195)||Unrestricted free agent (Denver)|
|WR||Cecil Shorts III||(6-0, 202)||Unrestricted free agent (Jacksonville)|
|DT||Vince Wilfork||(6-2, 325)||Unrestricted free agent (New England)|
|CB||Kareem Jackson||(5-10, 188)||Unrestricted|
|QB||Ryan Mallett||(6-6, 245)||Unrestricted|
|T||Derek Newton||(6-6, 313)||Unrestricted|
|ILB||Jeff Tarpinian||(6-3, 240)||Restricted|
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