Speculation continues with respect to the Patriots and their 2024 coaching setup. Bill Belichick is believed to be under contract through next season, but it very much remains to be seen if he will be allowed to continue in his current post in the wake of a highly underwhelming campaign this year.
Owner Robert Kraft has made his frustrations clear during the season, and Belichick has been the subject of questions regarding his job security. The latter has been connected to a number of other potential coaching vacancies for the coming offseason, but the fact he has not been let go by this point suggests he will have a large say in how (if at all) he departs New England. A mutual parting of ways appears to be the desired outcome to this situation from at least one perspective.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated writes that Kraft’s “preference would be for an amicable separation” with respect to Belichick’s tenure coming to a close. A dismissal would require paying out the remaining term on his contract – a rather standard practice in the NFL – but Belichick deciding to retire or head elsewhere via trade would eliminate that concern. On that point, Breer adds that Kraft could insist on compensation with a trade, something which could complicate the situation.
Belichick – whom Breer notes is expected by some close to him to continue coaching next season, regardless of how New England’s season finishes – could try to insist Kraft fires him to save draft capital for his next employer. The Commanders and Panthers have been floated as possible landing spots for Belichick, while a high-profile post such as that of the Cowboys could be in play as well. For now, though, much will depend on the relationship between Kraft and Belichick and their ability to reach a consensus regarding a path forward.
The latter will be 72 by the start of the 2024 season, and any plans he makes with the Patriots or any other team will surely be short-term in nature. His intentions will be a major storyline in New England over the coming months and Kraft’s willingness to accommodate them will be as well.