It is the end of an era.
Following the 2021 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick told the media on a video conference that this was Ernie Adams' final draft with the organization.
Adams' official title is football research director and he's been with the Patriots in his current role since 2000, when Belichick became head coach. The two have been friends since high school.
Adams' exact duties are unknown, but he's on the headset with the sideline during games and does special projects.
Belichick was asked if he's stepping away from his other responsibilities, but he wouldn't say.
“I just wanted to give an opportunity here as we close out this draft to thank Ernie for all he’s done and recognize all that he’s done,” Belichick said. “So that’s really what it was.”
The coach did express how much Adams has meant to the organization.
“I think Ernie’s contributions are historic,” Belichick said. “They traverse several decades in 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 in all of them.”
It is worth noting Evan Rothstein was brought in along with Matt Patricia this offseason. He was a research assistant in Detroit, so it seems like he will eventually take over some/all of Adams' duties.