Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Texans signed free-agent defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, the team announced Monday.

Wilfork, who reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth $9 million, tweeted a message thanking the New England Patriots and saying he and his family "will be starting a new chapter in our lives as Houston Texans."

He spent his first 11 NFL seasons with the Patriots.

"This has been a interesting process for me and my family one we have taken very seriously and given a lot of thought," part of Wilfork's message says.

"The coaching staff in Houston has made this new exciting transition feel like home to us," he wrote. "We will forever be Patriots in our hearts thank you everyone for everything."

Wilfork, 33, became a free agent when the Patriots chose not to pick up his contract option. The move saved the club about $8 million in salary cap space.

He started all but 10 of the 158 games he played for the Patriots after joining the team as a first-round pick in the 2004 draft. He returned from an Achilles injury in 2014 and started all 16 games while registering 47 tackles and one interception.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Wilfork won two Super Bowls with the Patriots.

The Texans also announced the signing of wide receiver Cecil Shorts III.

Shorts, 27, led Jacksonville in receptions last season with 53 and ranked second on the team with 557 receiving yards. A fourth-round pick of the Jaguars in 2011, Shorts has caught 176 passes for 2,343 yards and 12 touchdowns in 50 career games.