Wilfork is 33 going on 34. Bruschi was 36 going on 37.
Of course, Wilfork said he was going to weigh his options. He felt like he had plenty of gas left in the tank after a Super Bowl victory. But Bruschi saw it a little differently.
"You get to be turning 34, I was turning 36," he said, via ESPN.com. "There comes a time ... you don't have 20-year careers in the NFL. Vince is enough of a veteran to realize that. He probably saw that it was coming. The letter that he wrote was all class, to the fans of the New England Patriots. I think that, right there ... was a farewell from him and his wife Bianca."
Bruschi said there was no doubt in his mind that Wilfork could still play if he wanted to.
"He's not going to give you 10 to 12 sacks," Bruschi said. "He isn't that explosive one-gap pass rusher, but in terms of a first-and second-down player that can take on blocks, if I'm a linebacker, I'm throwing a party if we sign him. Right now, it's a sad day if you're Dont'a Hightower or Jamie Collins, Jerod Mayo."
Collins exploded in 2014, nearly tripling his sack total from 2013 and doubling his playing time. He only had Wilfork by his side for four games two seasons ago, but enjoyed the benefit of 16 in 2014.
While that's all gone into consideration for Bill Belichick, it will be interesting to see what New England's front looks like next year without Wilfork at the anchor spot, especially if the letter was the goodbye Bruschi expects it to be.