With seven weeks to go in the 2023 regular season, one thing is starting to become a little more real with each passing day.
Bill Belichick may indeed be elsewhere in 2024, and another era may soon be coming to a close for the New England Patriots.
The whispers about his future appear to be increasing, with Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com noting that the likelihood of terms being discussed between the Patriots and another franchise about his future behind the scenes is probably pretty likely.
What that might look like is anyone’s guess. A similar trade was the one Denver made to get Sean Payton away from New Orleans, with that deal requiring a first (2023), second (2024), and third-round selection (2024).
Payton was significantly younger at the time, with the 59-year-old still with presumably plenty of years still left in the tank. At 71, Belichick obviously doesn’t have quite as much left, but to say he wouldn’t be worth any type of worthy compensation certainly wouldn’t be the case.
For Robert Kraft, that’s probably the only way this one is going down. With the team in need of assets, along with the thought of letting the greatest coach in the history of the franchise walk away, he’s likely going to be looking to get something to help them build toward the future.
The only question will likely be the price.
Florio notes that those terms would likely be discussed behind the scenes ahead of Week 18. That makes some sense since it allows for the club to both plan ahead, while letting Belichick move on early enough to get to work with his new franchise.
Where that might be is the next question. Among teams expected to be in the mix are reportedly Washington, the Giants, and the Chargers. Other teams added to the mix of speculation have been the Buccaneers and Panthers, but the Giants and Chargers are probably the two most intriguing.
Everyone knows Belichick’s history with the Giants, while the Chargers have a young and talented roster that would certainly give Belichick a head start when it comes to getting back into contention.
If he entered that division, that would put also two of the best coaches in Andy Reid and Belichick against each other for two meetings a season. As good as Reid is, it would still potentially be bad news for the Chiefs, who have been a victim of some solid game plans by Belichick.
We saw New England’s success during the Tom Brady era and even beyond, although the Patriots simply didn’t have the horses on offense to take advantage of their efforts on defense after #12 departed. The Chargers are certainly dangerous enough to be a problem, even more so if Belichick is on the sidelines.
In New York, the Giants are headed in a bad direction, which would be a little more challenging. Despite having extended Daniel Jones, they still have plenty of questions on that side of the football, and whether or not Belichick would want to take that on would definitely be interesting.
Things might even become complicated for the Patriots, especially if the Giants (who are also 2-8) are in the running for whatever player the current personnel department is already considering.
As Florio also notes, any clubs involved will still have to adhere to the Rooney Rule when it comes to the hiring process, which will likely require discretion as things play out behind the scenes.
Either way, it’s setting up to be an interesting few months.
For now, change certainly feels like it’s coming. Now, if that’s indeed how things ultimately play out, it’s just a matter of how this chapter ends up coming to a close as both Belichick and the Patriots finish out the remainder of this season.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Robert Kraft