I'll say this about the Pats -- the heart and soul of the team, the guys that give the team its identity, are guys like Devin McCourty, Matt Slater, Dante Hightower, and of course the Coach, Belichick.
I feel like pretty much the entire offense will need to be rebuilt, but you have to feel good about the future of the team given the infrastructure that is in place.
To some extend I feel like there's been a debate over whether the Pats were ultimately more Tom's team or a team defined by Bill and "the Patriot Way."
We now have our answer, and it means that the Pats have a chance to remain competitive for years to come instead of sliding into oblivion with Tom's departure.
Granted, there were reasons to think the same for the Spurs following Tim Duncan's retirement, and they've gradually slid into irrelevance the last few years. Maybe they should have just hit the reset button instead of trying to hold on. But the differences between roster building in the NFL and the NBA may mean that it makes more sense for the Pats to value culture and infrastructure over individual players.