It’s seeming increasingly likely that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are heading towards a divorce after the 2023 campaign. While many pundits assumed the iconic coach would be a hot commodity, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post isn’t so sure.
La Canfora spoke to league sources around the NFL that believe Belichick’s market may not be as robust as initially believed. As the reporter notes, there doesn’t appear to be a “slam dunk” suitor for the coach, and there’s a sentiment that it’ll be a “soft market” for the future Hall of Famer.
As one personnel executive explained, teams with coaching vacancies will likely target young, inexpensive coaches…the 71-year-old Belichick is neither young nor cheap. The executive also opined that Belichick “doesn’t really fit with any of these owners” who will have HC vacancies.
It seems unlikely that the Patriots would outright fire Belichick since the team would be on the hook for his remaining salary. The organization could look to amicably part ways with Belichick and allow their coach to either retire or hit the HC free agency carousel.
The Patriots could also take a hard stance on Belichick’s contract status and require compensation from potential suitors. “Three high-ranking executives” indicated to Jeff Howe of The Athletic that this might be the best route for the organization. Those executives agreed that Belichick could fetch a first-round pick in a potential trade. Other executives weren’t as sure, and one echoed La Canfora’s report that Belichick could have a tough time even finding a new job.
“I’ve got questions about how he relates to this generation of players,” the executive told Howe. “Can he still be a motivator? A leader of men? How does he pivot and adjust his culture?
“I’ve got a lot of questions with those recent roster moves. Is he going to just be the coach, or does he want (general manager) responsibilities? Because I’m not trading for that.”