While a number of head coach-needy teams are starting to line up for Bill Belichick‘s services, there hasn’t been any word about the coach’s status in New England. While both sides could still be heading towards a divorce, it sounds like the iconic head coach is at least willing to make concessions to stick with the Patriots.
“Look, I’m for whatever we collectively decide as an organization is the best thing to help our football team,” Belichick said (via ESPN’s Mike Reiss). “I have multiple roles in that, and I rely on a lot of people to help me in those responsibilities; somebody has to have the final say. Whatever that process is, I’m only part of it.”
When asked about his job status and whether he’d be staying with the organization, Belichick pointed out that he’s still “under contract” and will continue to operate as he always does. When asked if owner Robert Kraft has given any indication if he’ll be back next season, Belichick responded in typical fashion.
“I learned [a] lesson from my dad growing up — you work for the team that you’re working for and do the best you can for it, until somebody tells you different. So that’s not going to change,” he said.
There’s been a recent sentiment that Belichick “hasn’t lost his fastball” on the sideline, with most of the criticism focused on his lack of success with recent personnel decisions. Over the past 10 seasons, the Patriots have drafted only three players who eventually earned Pro Bowl nods (guard Joe Thuney, punter Jake Bailey, and quarterback Mac Jones), and the team’s spending spree during the 2021 offseason has led to mixed results.
Belichick’s personnel decisions go beyond the players on the field. The coach was criticized for his handling of Josh McDaniels‘ departure last season, with Belichick curiously opting for a former defensive coordinator (Matt Patricia) and former special teams coordinator (Joe Judge) to guide his offense. The results were disastrous, leading Kraft to request that Belichick add former OC Bill O’Brien to the staff. While Belichick obliged, he didn’t provide O’Brien with much freedom to run the operation, leading to tension on the coaching staff throughout the 2023 campaign. That lack of coaching consistency has also had a major impact on Jones, who has taken major steps backwards in each of the past two seasons.
It was uncertain if Belichick would be willing to continue coaching in New England while relinquishing his GM duties, and that willingness could play a big role in him ultimately sticking with the organization. Belichick was set to meet with Kraft today and discuss the team’s lack of success in 2023, but that meeting was never expected to lead to a Black Monday ouster. In fact, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post suggests that the two sides could meet “multiple times” as they determine the best path forward.
For what it’s worth, Belichick refused to discuss a hypothetical where he’d join another team, but we’re already hearing rumblings that rival teams are ready to pounce. Just over the past few days, we’ve heard Belichick connected to the Raiders, Falcons, Commanders, and Panthers.