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It is the end of an era in New England. The Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick are parting ways after 24 seasons.

There were rumors all year that Belichick's reign at Gillette Stadium may be over and now it is official. Belichick is now free to go to another team and is a coach that will get a lot of attention from teams with vacancies. 

Belichick was hired by the Patriots in 2000 and since then has seen unprecedented success, going to nine Super Bowls and winning six, the most by any head coach in league history. The 71-year-old also holds the head coaching records for most playoff wins with 31 and division championships with 17. 

His final seasons with the Patriots were a lot different than his first two decades. New England finished the 2023 season at 4-13 and last in the AFC East. Since quarterback Tom Brady left the team, Belichick went 29-38 and made the playoffs just once in four years.

Despite the recent shortcomings, he will go down as one of the greatest coaches of all time and many claim him as the greatest of all time. Players across the league, both current and past, reacted to the news. Some expressed shock and many reflected on what Belichick means to the NFL and what his legacy will be. Former players shared memories and lessons learned by the head coach.

Here are some player reactions:

The Patriots posted a thank you to their, now former, longtime head coach.

Tom Brady reflected on his two decades playing for Belichick, noting that while they had success that will "be hard to replicate," the greatest lessons came from those moments of adversity. 

"I could never have been the player I was without you Coach Belichick. I am forever grateful. And I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose next," Brady wrote.

The NFL posted a photo from each championship.

Julian Edelman posted a video montage of some highlights with Belichick, including the Super Bowl MVP telling The Hoodie, "I'd do anything for you coach."

Former Patriots cornerback Ty Law went on WEEI on Thursday morning and said Belichick was always a straight-forward head coach, something the former player appreciated. The three-time Super Bowl champion said Belichick always held him accountable and players had to earn their playing time and attention from the head coach.

"He is by far the greatest NFL coach of all time. Period," Law said.

Rob Ninkovich, who played on the Patriots from 2009 to 2016, winning two Super Bowls in that time, said he was not surprised by the news, but called it "sad." Ninkovich said he can't thank the head coach enough for what he did for him and his family, adding that he is grateful for the opportunities he was given.

Charlie Weis was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots during their first three Super Bowl titles. Weis reflects on his time with Belichick, saying he is a "great coach, great man."

Jamie Collins says Belichick took a chance on him and jokes that it will be "weird" to see the head coach in a different team's gear.

Other Boston teams paid tribute to Belichick's career in New England.

Hall of Famer Richard Seymour calls Belichick "the greatest football mind to ever live."

Devin and Jason McCourty both commented on the news.

Rex Burkhead, who played for Belichick from 2017 to 2020, winning one Super Bowl with him, called the head coach the "greatest to ever do it."

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James gave Belichick a salute emoji.

Jamie Collins calls him "Coach Goat."

Current Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers continued to show his support for Belichick, saying, "forever indebted and appreciative."

Three-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Chung thanked Belichick for everything he did for him and his family.

Marquis Flowers posted photos with Belichick.

Robert Griffin III called Belichick the greatest coach of all time and feels the head coach needs to abandon his Patriot ways in order to succeed elsewhere.

Former Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson noted how many changes have taken place in the football world this week.

Super Bowl champion Shane Vereen, like many Patriots fans, are dealing with a lot of emotions right now.