ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The reality of the NFL is teams change personnel from year-to-year.
Every offseason there are going to be players moving on and new players coming in, and the same goes for coaches, too.
Specific to the Patriots, it could involve some key players, which meant Saturday's loss to the Bills was the last time the current group will take the field together.
“There’s finality in everything, right?" said David Andrews. "There’s finality in the team. There’s guys who will leave, there’s guys who will retire, there’s coaches that will leave. Whatever it may be, it’s a finality. That’s just part of it. It’s part of the business and that’s what makes it hard.”
One player who could retire is Matthew Slater, who was asked about his future after the game.
“I certainly don’t want to disrespect the team and what we just went through and talk about my personal situation," he said. "Look, I’m closer to the end. We all know that. I’ll pray about it and make a final decision and have some conversations, but tonight I just want to make sure that I express gratitude to the people I owe it to and take time to be reflective and thankful for not only what I experienced this year, but throughout the entirety of my career.”
Slater is 36 years old and has been with the Patriots since he was drafted by them in 2008.
Devin McCourty is another player whose future is uncertain. He's a free agent and he'll be 35 years old next season, so there's always a chance he could retire, as well. Other free agents on the defensive side of the ball include Dont'a Hightower, J.C. Jackson, Ja'Whaun Bentley and Jamie Collins.
The Patriots will have some important decisions to make this offseason.
In addition, Jerod Mayo and Josh McDaniels are also candidates to become NFL head coaches, so there's a chance they could have coached their final game with the Patriots.
Bottom line, Saturday likely marked the end of some terrific runs for at least a few members of the Patriots organization.
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