Former New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork (Elise Amendola/AP Photo)
New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork (Elise Amendola/AP Photo)

(Bleacher Report) – That’s the throwaway line and the standard description of the NFL in February and March. The realities of salary-cap squeezing and maximizing the return for every dollar leave little time for nuisances like loyalty.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has always approached a frosty time in the calendar with the appropriate coldness—the same emotion he brings to press conferences. Celebrated veterans are either traded or released before hitting their decline years, as teams prioritize asset management.

It can be robotic and sometimes a little ruthless, but Belichick’s approach is the right one, especially with players whose contracts get too heavy as they advance in age.

That describes defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who won two Super Bowls with the franchise over 11 seasons and played all of his 158 NFL games under Belichick. Now the 33-year-old will spend the twilight of his career elsewhere after the Patriots declined to pick up his contract option for 2015, Wilfork announced Thursday:

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