Bill Belichick has been a fixture in New England for 24 seasons, constructing some of the best teams in NFL history. Critics may argue that having Tom Brady helped a lot, but it was still Belichick who saw enough in Brady to turn the team over to a sixth-round pick from Michigan who would go on to set the standard for excellence at the quarterback position. Unfortunately, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and it appears the good times are over in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Since Brady parted ways with the Patriots and earned a Super Bowl in Tampa, it hasn’t exactly been good times for Patriots fans. The franchise drafted Alabama quarterback Mac Jones to lead the team into the post-Brady era, and the results have been less than stellar. So much less, in fact, that reports claim team owner Robert Kraft is set to move on from the future Hall of Fame coach after the season ends.
According to a report from Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston, the decision had already been made to part ways with Belichick. Reportedly, Kraft saw enough after a week ten loss to the Colts in Frankfurt, Germany, and informed the coach that there would be a parting of ways after the season was over. Curran said: “When they came out of Germany, conversations I had that week made it very clear that a decision was made. They were going to play out the string, and at the end of the year, there would be a parting of the ways for a variety of reasons.”
The team had reportedly been exploring a trade of the coach to another team in favor of firing him in-season. Since the loss in Germany, the team appeared to regress even further with losses to the lowly Giants and Chargers. New England upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in primetime last week, but according to Curran, the win changed nothing.
He noted, “Just because they won last week in Pittsburgh in primetime, I don’t think it quells anything.” While there is speculation that a strong finish could change Kraft’s mind, the statements he made before the loss to the Colts still speak volumes.
Kraft commented before the game in Germany: “This is our thirtieth year that I’ve had the privilege of owning this team, and I’ve never been 2-7. So it’s really disappointing and I hoped that things would be a lot better, as I know our fan base did. And I hope today is a chance to reset and make this a much better year. This isn’t what we were expecting to happen this year.”
The decision could also come down to whether Belichick even wants to remain in New England. The cupboard is bare at quarterback and wide receiver, and the team will likely draft another rookie signal-caller and start over. At Belichick’s age, does he want to risk tarnishing his legacy by possibly failing to develop another quarterback, as has been the case with Jones?
The smart money says he doesn’t, and there are other teams with established stars in place that would welcome the legendary coach. Belichick could take his talents to Chicago or Los Angeles, where the Bears and Chargers boast quality rosters in need of good coaching. While this is all speculation, even the suggestion Belichick won’t be wearing a ripped Patriot hoodie on the sidelines in 2024 is going to be hard to fathom.
Featured image credit: By AlexanderJonesi – https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexanderjonesi/48862392521/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=105034697
"*" indicates required fields