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Brady, Belichick made history in 20 seasons together

As the offseason moves full speed ahead to the 2020 NFL Draft, thus far the largest transactional news has been Tom Brady shipping down from New England to Tampa Bay.

When people look back upon Brady and head coach Bill Belichick's historically triumphant times navigating the Patriots -- as they will until the sun turns cold -- it will be six Super Bowl championships that will forever be atop a seemingly never-ending list of accomplishments.

Perhaps lost in the glory of hoisting those Lombardis, however, is that Brady and Belichick made history this past season -- even with a quick exit in the AFC Wild Card Round.

Per NFL Research, Brady played 20 seasons with Belichick, which is the longest run by one player for one head coach (or manager) in major sports (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL) history. That final campaign put the Brady-Belichick pairing past the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan and the Pittsburgh Pirates' Fred Clarke and Honus Wagner at 19 seasons in the NBA and MLB, respectively. Duncan, Wagner and Clarke are all Hall of Famers and they'll no doubt be joined by Popovich, Belichick and Brady.

Staying regionally, in comparison, Boston's most celebrated coach-top player union of Red Auerbach and Bill Russell were together with the Celtics for half that time (10 seasons).

When the 2020 campaign kicks off, special teams ace Matthew Slater will be the longest-tenured Patriots player with 12 years running -- all under Belichick, of course. That's second among active players/head coaches in the NFL, trailing the Steelers' Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger at 13, per NFL Research.

Since Brady joined Belichick and the Patriots back in 2000, New England has won six Super Bowls and made nine, it's won 17 AFC East titles and had 19 winning seasons (only 2000 when a rookie Brady wasn't starting did the Pats have a losing campaign). It was a run so successful that any amount of adjectives really falls short of doing it justice.

It began when Brady took the reins from Drew Bledsoe as the Patriots' starting quarterback.

Now, Brady will replace a former No. 1 overall pick once more when he takes over for Jameis Winston with the Buccaneers, looking to turn around a franchise more often associated with struggles than Super Bowls -- just as he did six Lombardi trophies ago.

And Belichick and the Patriots, of course, are left still searching for the guy to replace TB12, who they got in the sixth round with pick No. 199 of the 2000 draft. The Rams hold the 199th pick of the draft this time around -- the same Rams who were on the losing end of Brady and Belichick's final Super Bowl triumph together. Then again, the Patriots do currently have four picks in the sixth round.

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