Bill Belichick, speaking with reporters after the Patriots draft had wrapped up on Saturday evening, announced that 2021 will be long-time football research director Ernie Adams' last draft with the team. Belichick stopped short of saying Adams was retiring completely but pointed out how involved Adams had been in the team's draft process over the last two decades where his loss will reverberate.
"Just to kind of wrap up the day, with Ernie Adams, this is [his] last draft, and certainly he's been a huge part of the draft process with the New England Patriots, going all the way to Coach [Chuck] Fairbanks to the Giants to Cleveland, back to New England. 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.
"As always, it was great to work with him again over the weekend here."
Belichick and Adams met in high school at Philips Andover, with Adams excited to meet the son of the author of Football Scouting Methods. That friendship continued to the NFL, with Adams being an integral part of six Super Bowl championships.
Adams gained a little fun notoriety for his appearance in 2014's Do Your Job feature on the Patriots Super Bowl 49 championship, which saw him make the phrase "Pink Stripes" part of Patriots lore.
Though his input and experience will be missed in 2022's draft process, hopefully Adams isn't quite ready to hang them up entirely just yet.