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Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots director of football research Ernie Adams watches the Miami Dolphins during warm-ups prior to their game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime Patriots director of football research Ernie Adams announced his retirement from the organization in a brief statement Monday night. Here’s how the statement reads, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Twitter:

“The last 21 seasons with the New England Patriots have been extraordinary for me. I am fortunate to have been part of a team with Bill Belichick, outstanding colleagues, patient owners, and a lot of great players. It is time for me to stop working and join the many wonderful fans who have been here for this run.”

Adams’ first job in the NFL came in New England as an administrative assistant from 1975-78. A longtime colleague and friend of Belichick’s, he served in various roles under Belichick for the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns before heading back to the Patriots as Belichick’s football research director in 2000. Belichick announced on Saturday that the 2021 NFL Draft was Adams’ final one with the team, and allowed him to make the team’s seventh-round selection, Central Florida wide receiver Tre Nixon.

Known for his mysterious nature and football intelligence, Adams was described as a “mythical creature” by Patriots center David Andrews on Tuesday. Belichick heavily credited Adams with having a major role in the Patriots’ draft process over the years.

“I think Ernie’s contributions are historic,” Belichick said. “Again, they traverse several decades and so many different areas in every corner of the room and then some. He’s literally been involved in every single aspect of the football program at every level that you could possibly be involved in. He’s done an outstanding job on all of them, but not all coaches have the kind of involvement that Ernie’s had in the draft process throughout his career, and his knowledge, experience, and decisions and organization and being part of the process and the way he set it up and taught it to all the people who have come through here from Scott [Pioli] and Nick [Caserio] to all the scouts and so forth.

“Really he’s had a big hand in it again, going back to the foundation of when it was laid in the middle ’70s with Bucko [Kilroy] and Chuck [Fairbanks] and so forth. It’s on a major level, but at some point he can talk more about that.”

MORE: Watch Ernie Adams make Patriots’ final draft pick

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.