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Patriots reach five-year deal with Wilfork

The New England Patriots locked up their biggest offseason priority Friday, signing franchise-tagged defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, and they also re-signed their top pass rusher, linebacker Tully Banta Cain.

Wilfork signed a five-year deal that's worth a maximum of $40 million, including $25 million guaranteed, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora. Wilfork received an $18 million signing bonus.

Wilfork has been an anchor in the middle of the Patriots' defense since he was the 21st overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. Now, he's reportedly one of the highest-paid defensive tackles in league history.

Wilfork first reacted to the news via Twitter.

"Thanks to everyone who supported us during our time here in New England, it has meant a great deal to us," Wilfork tweeted. "With that being said we are pleased to say we will be here for MANY more years to come."

Had Wilfork not agreed to a new contract with the Patriots, he would have been paid $7.003 million next season under the franchise tag.

Banta-Cain was an unrestricted free-agent, but he will remain in the fold for another three years after the new deal.

"I had some calls from my agent last night that we were going to try to get it done," Banta-Cain said during a conference call with reporters. "I was hopeful it would get done, and it did. I'm happy about that."

Banta-Cain played for the Patriots' Super Bowl teams in 2004 and '05, before going to San Francisco as an unrestricted free agent in 2007. After two seasons, the 49ers released him, and he re-signed with the Patriots.

Last season, Banta-Cain had a career-high 10 sacks and 55 total tackles while starting 10 games.

NFL Network's Michael Lombardi also reports that the Patriots re-signed guard Stephen Neal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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