FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Two-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork has agreed to a long-term contract that will keep him with the New England Patriots.

The team put the franchise tag on Wilfork last month, keeping him from becoming a free agent and giving the sides more time to work out a contract. Wilfork announced the deal on his Twitter feed and Patriots spokesman Stacey James confirmed Saturday that an agreement had been reached.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed., citing an NFL source, said the contract was for five years and $40 million.

For much of the season, Wilfork indicated he wouldn’t be happy with a franchise tag. In January, he said on WEEI radio that such a designation would be a “slap in the face.”

But when the franchise tag actually was used, he took a more accommodating approach in a posting to the Twitter account of his wife, Bianca.

“After six years of dedicated service I do understand this is a business,” he said. “With that being said, it is my hope that the tag is applied for its true purpose. For the purpose of allotting more time for us to continue our talks and be able to reach a long-term agreement. Only time will tell what the final result will be.”

Now he has the result he wanted, a long-term deal with the team that drafted him with the 21st pick in the first round out of Miami in 2004.

Friday’s posting on his Twitter account said, “We are pleased to say we will be here for MANY more years to come.”

Wilfork had 65 tackles last season, most among Patriots defensive linemen and fifth on the team, despite playing only 13 games. He missed the last three games with a foot injury and returned for the team’s only playoff game, a 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

TRADE: The New York Jets traded safety Kerry Rhodes to the Arizona Cardinals for a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft and a seventh-rounder in 2011.

Rhodes is expected to move into the starting spot opposite All-Pro Adrian Wilson that was vacated when Rolle, a Pro Bowl selection last season, was released Thursday. Rolle signed as a free agent with the New York Giants on Friday.

“He fits a lot of the things that we do defensively,” Cardinals Coach Ken Whisenhunt said in a statement, “and the prospect of having him alongside a perennial All-Pro like Adrian Wilson is very exciting.”


LIONS: Detroit continued its aggressive makeover, signing wide receiver Nate Burleson one day after agreeing to a contracts with defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and acquiring defensive tackle Corey Williams in a trade with the Cleveland Browns.

Burleson will make $10 million guaranteed as part of a $25 million, five-year deal. He caught 63 passes for 812 yards and three TDs last season with Seattle.


RAMS: St. Louis signed free agent A.J. Feeley as part of what could be a big shakeup at the quarterback position.

Starter Marc Bulger and backup Kyle Boller might not return. The Rams’ short list of candidates for the No. 1 overall pick includes two quarterbacks — Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame.

They also have Keith Null, a third-string rookie forced to start four games at the end of the 2009 season because of injuries to Bulger and Boller.


RAIDERS: Oakland released running back Justin Fargas after seven seasons with the team.

The team said Fargas failed a physical. He was owed a $1.7 million bonus if he was still on the roster on Monday.


PACKERS: Green Bay re-signed veteran left tackle Chad Clifton.

Terms were not disclosed, but reported that Clifton’s deal was for three years and $20 million, with $7.5 million guaranteed.


DOLPHINS: Chad Pennington agreed to a one-year contract to remain with Miami as a backup to quarterback Chad Henne.


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