Bill Belichick Announces 2021 NFL Draft Was Ernie Adams' Last with Patriots

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIMay 1, 2021

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, speaks with football research director Ernie Adams, right, during an NFL football team practice, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

The 2021 NFL draft was the last for New England Patriots football research director Ernie Adams, head coach Bill Belichick announced Saturday.

"He's literally been involved in every single aspect of the football program at every level," Belichick told reporters.

Belichick did not say when or if Adams was retiring.

New England Patriots @Patriots

From his passion for the game to his tactical expertise. Behind the scenes with Patriots Director of Football Research, Ernie Adams, presented by @Bose. https://t.co/ONcWagwtQK

Adams initially joined the NFL with the Patriots in 1975 following his graduation from Northwestern University.

He has served in his current role since 2000, the same year that Belichick took over as head coach in New England, but he also worked with him with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, according to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald.

But the pair's relationship dates back even further—they were classmates and football teammates at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Belichick revealed in a video posted to Twitter by the team in 2020.

His tenure with the team means he has played a role in all six of New England's Super Bowl victories—most notably in their comeback victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX.

He identified a goal-line play favored by the Seattle Seahawks and had the Patriots prepare for the call in the week leading up to the title, and that practice allowed Malcolm Butler to famously make the game-winning pick, per NFL.com.

"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."