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Patriots, Wilfork agree to terms

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — 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 that an agreement had been reached.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed on Saturday. ESPNBoston.com, 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 utilized, 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 the Twitter account said, "We are pleased to say we will be here for MANY more years to come."

On Friday, the Patriots also announced that they had signed Tully Banta-Cain, who led them with 10 sacks last year. He received a three-year extension.