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Chris Hogan “very, very fortunate” to play with Brady, Belichick

Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 03: Tom Brady #12 celebrates with Vivian Lake Brady and Chris Hogan #15 of the New England Patriots after their 13-3 win against Los Angeles Rams during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Panthers wide receiver Chris Hogan has nothing but fond memories as he reflects on his last three years with the Patriots.

Hogan told Mike Reiss of ESPN he considers himself lucky to have had Tom Brady as his quarterback and Bill Belichick as his coach.

I was very, very fortunate to be around one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, if not the best,” Hogan said. “One of the best coaches to ever coach. Great teammates. I miss Julian [Edelman] a little bit, going back and forth with him. I made a lot of friendships there, which I think will last the rest of my life.”

So why leave? Hogan didn’t want to say, although it didn’t sound like the Patriots tried very hard to keep him.

“I’d rather not go into too much detail on that, but it’s business, and I understand that,” he said. “I appreciate everything that was given to me in New England -- the opportunity to go there and play -- and I’ll always hold every single one of those people in that organization [in high regard]: Mr. [Robert] Kraft, Bill. It was time to move on, I guess. I take it for what it is. I enjoyed my time. And now I’m excited about the opportunity in front of me.”

After bouncing around the league with the 49ers, Giants and Dolphins but never getting on the field in a regular-season game, and then playing three years with the Bills but never getting to the playoffs, Hogan played in three straight Super Bowls with the Patriots. That’s an experience any player would get grateful for.