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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.

Wednesday will mark the end of an era for the NFL, even if it’s an era some casual fans may not realize. Before the Patriots’ final practice of their 2021 minicamp, Bill Belichick told reporters it would be the final practice for football research director Ernie Adams before he begins his retirement, which was announced after the draft.

Adams has spent the better part of the last 46 years working in the NFL, including 25 with the Patriots. Just how much of an impact has Adams had on both the team and league as a whole? Check out these stats…

“Ernie has had such a big impact on our success here with the Patriots in so many different ways,” Belichick said of Adams. “From his organization with Scott [Pioli] and the personnel department and grading scale and so forth, to strategy, coaching, game-planning in all three phases – offense, defense and special teams — to team building and acquisitions.”

Adams’ specialty was the draft, as Belichick explained back in May. “The acquisition of a lot of great players, all the process that goes into drafting, grading players, scouting players, setting up a grading scale, trading really every single thing that is involved in that, Ernie’s had that seat and that role and been a part of all those things in the Draft room.”

Despite his longevity and success, Adams’ career has been somewhat shrouded in mystery. That’s why it was surprising when Belichick concluded his Wednesday morning press conference by turning the mic over to Adams to answer some questions.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.