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Rank 'Em: Greatest all-time Patriots defenders

With Vince Wilfork's announcement Tuesday on Twitter that he is retiring after 13 years in the NFL, the career of one of this generation's best interior defensive linemen comes to a close.

Wilfork, 35, was among the most popular players in the league during his 11 seasons with the New England Patriots, which included five Pro Bowl nods and two Super Bowl championships, before he signed with the Houston Texans in 2015. As a true "war daddy" at nose tackle, he'll be remembered as one of the most dominant defensive players of the Bill Belichick era in New England, sometimes altering opponents' game plans with his deceiving versatility for a player of his girth.

But where does he stand all time among the Patriots' illustrious history of elite defenders? Certainly Pats fans of today share strong feelings about some of the stalwarts on Belichick's Super Bowl-winning defenses, from Ty Law to Tedy Bruschi to Richard Seymour to Rodney Harrison. But the Patriots of yesteryear also boasted great individual talents, including Hall of Famers Andre Tippett and Mike Haynes.

Where does Wilfork belong? Rank the best all-time Patriots defenders below:

In 189 regular-season games, Wilfork recorded 559 tackles, 16 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions. He earned four All-Pro nods in his career, all with New England.

-- Brendan C. Hall