Ernie Adams: It is time for me to stop working and join the fans

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It seems the 2021 NFL Draft were Ernie Adams' final days as a member of the Patriots organization.

On Saturday, Bill Belichick announced it was Adams' last draft, but questions remained as to whether or not he would continue through the season, or just perhaps have some his duties changed.

But, it appears Adams has retired at the age of 68.

"The last 21 seasons with the New England Patriots have been extraordinary for me," he said in a statement, via ESPN's Mike Reiss. "I am fortunate to be part of a team along 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 with us for this run."

Adams' official title was football research director, which came along with wearing a number of different hats. He's been one of Belichick's closest friends dating all the way back to high school.

It's unclear how he will be replaced, but WEEI's Andy Hart ran through some possibilities in a piece earlier Monday.