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Belichick after parting ways: 'I'll always be a Patriot'


The final piece of the New England Patriots' dynasty that dominated most of the 2000s is gone.

The franchise and legendary head coach Bill Belichick have agreed to part ways after a run that spanned 24 seasons, the team announced Thursday.

The future Hall of Famer quickly leveraged his sense of humor while speaking to reporters on Thursday, saying that he hasn't "seen this many cameras since (the team) signed Tebow."

"I'll always be a Patriot," Belichick said, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "I look forward to coming back here. But at this time, we're going to move on. I'm excited about the future."

Both sides are at ease with the decision, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Mike Reiss, which ends speculation that the Patriots could try to trade Belichick to another team for compensation.

Belichick thanked owner Robert Kraft, saying that the day was one of "gratitude and celebration" and that the feats the pair accomplished together exceeded his "wildest dreams and expectations."

Kraft, who has owned the team since 1994, acknowledged the remarkable run the team has had under Belichick.

"What Bill has done will never be repeated," the 82-year-old said, according to Rapoport. "It'll be difficult to see him in a cutoff hoodie on another sideline. I wish him success except when he's coaching against our beloved Patriots."

Belichick took the Patriots to unprecedented heights alongside former quarterback Tom Brady, winning six Super Bowls and 30 playoff games.

New England amassed a 266-121 regular-season record and captured 17 AFC East titles with Belichick at the helm, including a run of 11 straight from 2009 to 2019, the longest such streak in NFL history.

However, he finished with a 4-13 record in 2023, his worst year as a head coach.

The 71-year-old is 15 wins away from breaking Don Shula's NFL record of 347 victories as a head coach. Belichick reportedly wants to continue coaching.

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