BOSTON (CBS) -- The Tom Brady news wasn't the only Patriots-related retirement development of the weekend.
Longtime assistant coach Ivan Fears is expected to announce his retirement soon, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.
"It should only be a matter of time before longtime Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears announces his retirement after 31 NFL seasons and 25 with the Patriots," Reiss wrote.
Fears just completed his 45th season in coaching, spending 31 of those in the NFL and 25 with the Patriots. He's been with the team on his second stint since 1999, when he spent three seasons as the wide receivers coach. He moved into the running backs coach spot in 2002, where he's remained ever since. He previous spent two seasons with the Patriots in 1991 and 1992 as receivers coach.
In between Patriots stints, he spent six seasons as the Bears' receivers coach. Prior to coaching in the NFL, he spent time at William & Mary and Syracuse.
An NFL Films clip captured an emotional moment between Fears and Damien Harris late in the Patriots' playoff loss, with Fears telling the young running back, "You're gonna have a great career."
Reiss said that Fears could possibly do some "part-time work" for the Patriots, similar to the way Dante Scarnecchia made himself available to assist Bill Belichick after his first retirement in 2013.
When Fears does retire, it'll represent the departure of yet another long-term member of Belichick's staff, joining the aforementioned Scarnecchia as well as Ernie Adams in retirement, along with Josh McDaniels, who left his post as offensive coordinator to become the Raiders' new head coach.
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