Vince's retirement plan set in motion

OK, I hope I didn't freak anyone out with that headline. Vince Wilfork, for the record, is not anywhere near retirement.

But with the numbers on his new contract as big as they are, it was natural that the first question posed to Vince during today's conference call was this ... What exactly are you going to do with all that cash?

"I think I've got everything that I want already," Wilfork said. "Only thing we're gonna do is, closer to the time of retirement, build a home. I'm not a big flashy guy. I got my truck. I'm just a normal dude. I don't need to go out and buy a Bentley or a Ferrari. And even though I love to fish, it doesn't make sense to buy a boat now, because I can't enjoy it. I'm fine."

And where will that house be? "Florida, of course," Wilfork said. "Already have some land down there that I'm in love with, been having it for five years now. I can't wait to build it out there. Everything is set, but it doesn't make sense to build a house now if you can't enjoy it."

So when Vince retires, he plans to build on that land in Lake Wells, Fla. He also mentioned the last toy he bought himself was this truck, what he called a "Baby 18-wheeler". Those, for one reason or another, seem to be hot among NFL linemen these days ... I know Cowboys linemen Leonard Davis and Marc Colombo (a Bridgewater-Raynham guy, for you locals) have pretty similar wheels.

But overall, it's pretty clear that Wilfork isn't so enthralled with material things. And his experiences in life provide pretty logical reasons why, and those experiences also explain why, for a time on the conference call today, Big Vince was awfully reflective.

Wilfork lost both his parents, David and Barbara, while he was in school at Miami. The story's a heart-wrenching one, and that's why each professional step that Wilfork takes, he marks with the impact his mom and dad had.

"My parents never got a chance to see my daughter or my baby son," Wilfork said. "Every day that goes by, I reflect on that. I told my father, when I was 4, what I wanted to be in life, and that was a professional football player. ... When I signed my deal, as a rookie, it was a special moment because, physically they weren't here to see me do it, but my father always believed in me and my mother believed in me, and when I signed as a rookie, it was, 'Man, I made it, dad. I made, momma.'

"Once I signed this one, it's a whole different league now. Everything I've work for in life, this is what I worked for. Sometimes people take it for granted. I don't care how mad you are with your parents, your siblings, don't take life for granted. ... When I wake up and see my wife and kids, that's something I cherish, because I know how it's here and how quick it can go.

"And for my parents not to be here physically to enjoy this moment with me, yeah, that bothers me. That definitely bothers me. My daddy was a big inspiration to my life. I have one other brother and we always talk about our parents. My father made me who I am, from the athlete to the man to the friend to the loving person, it was all taken from my father. I always look at him and I wanted to be like my father.

"And I just wish he was here physically to enjoy this time with me. I know we'd probably be somewhere fishing, because my dad was a big-time fisherman. He was a bigger Pittsburgh Steeler fan, but by now he would've traded in his Pittsburgh Steeler jacket for a Patriot jacket, I'm pretty sure of that. He was everything to me, and he's the one who got me to this point."

Another important one is Bianca, his wife, who's sort of carried the torch for Wilfork the last few years and worked to handle so many things in his life so he could focus on football. You guys may have gotten to know her over the last few weeks as @Mrs75.

"That's my agent-slash-wife," Wilfork said. "She's tough, and doesn't want anything but the best for us. And you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. To have a partner like that, to have a wife that's a partner and friend like she is, so business-minded, it's probably tough on business people, because they're getting it from both ends, from the agent and her.

"She's always been supportive. Ever since she came into my life, she's been a huge supporter of me, football or no football. Sometimes she wishes I never played football, so we could live a normal life, but I thank her. What she does for me, she looks out for the best in my interests, for our life. She's just always supportive, and when I'm wrong, she tells me I'm wrong. ... I respect that. But she means a lot to me, as a wife and a business partner. She's a very smart young lady. And I'm happy to have such a special person in my life like her."

The money was important to Vince, as it would be to anyone in that situation. But it seems like there's a little more meaning to it, in his case, than a truckload of cash.

Hopefully, some of those comments from No. 75 show you why.

Click here to order Vince Wilfork's proCane Rookie Card.

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