Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick’s Media Roles Not Changing Plan Of Coaching In 2025

For those interested, Bill Belichick analysis will be readily available this season. In addition to the 24-year Patriots coach’s upcoming gig on the Manningcast, he recently agreed to be part of Inside the NFL for the 2024 campaign. After mostly offering little of substance as a coach, Belichick will attempt to adjust his image this year.

That effort already began with an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show during the draft and a memorable role in Netflix’s Tom Brady roast event. Belichick’s pivot, after only one of the eight HC-needy teams interviewed him this offseason, could certainly turn into a full-on career shift a la Bill Cowher‘s 2007 coaching exit. But the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC is hoping these are only temporary gigs.

Mentioned as interested in landing a job during the 2025 HC carousel back in February, Belichick is still “fully invested” in a return to the league, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (video link). Going after Don Shula‘s all-time wins record continues to factor into Belichick’s pursuit of a third HC job; the former Patriots and Browns HC is 15 wins shy (counting playoff victories) of the legendary Dolphins leader. This marks the first season since 1974 Belichick is not an NFL staffer.

Although the Falcons interviewed Belichick twice, a number of factors — among them internal concerns about organizational structure — steered Arthur Blank away from the hire he initially preferred. Belichick was loosely connected to the Chargers and Raiders, and he spoke with the Commanders — though, not in an official interview setting — as well. The Eagles and Cowboys, however, did some internal work on the newly available option before respectively committing — for the 2024 season, at least — to Nick Sirianni and Mike McCarthy.

Belichick, who was believed to be open to ceding personnel control had he landed a job this year, turned 72 in April. A winter 2025 return to the NFL in a head coaching capacity would make him six years older than any HC ever hired; Bruce Arians still holds that distinction upon coming out of retirement to coach the Buccaneers in 2019. Belichick turning 73 before Week 1 of the 2025 season would naturally invite some concerns about his timeline; this issue came up for the Falcons during their search.

Belichick connections to Dallas and Philadelphia figure to re-emerge, though McCarthy and Sirianni can avoid that with quality seasons. That said, McCarthy is a lame duck who has already won 12 games three times in Dallas. Belichick coaxing more out of Jerry Jones‘ roster come January is a scenario the owner has undoubtedly considered, and he said recently he could work with the longtime Patriots staple. Pelissero, however, expresses questions about the fit due to how much control Jones exercises in that organization.

In addition to the Eagles and Cowboys, Belichick — as of April, at least — was tied to being interested in a Giants return should that job become available. Brian Daboll‘s stock nosedived last season, and he is taking over play-calling duties. The ex-Belichick assistant’s fiery approach has rubbed some in the organization the wrong way, and a simmering feud with Don Martindale drove the two-year DC to a memorable exit. The Giants, who employed Belichick from 1979-90 (the final six seasons as DC), also represent a team to monitor with regards to a third HC opportunity.

This will be a key NFL storyline for the next several months, as a handful of jobs will become available between this season and January 2025. Teams with quality quarterback situations are generally less likely to feature HC vacancies, but Belichick’s shorter window would seemingly mandate a roster capable of contending quickly. It will be interesting to see if the Belichick’s media gigs elevate his stock for 2025 and whether he would be amenable to any HC opening — as opposed to surefire winning situations — next year.

2024 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

With the Patriots hiring Eliot Wolf as their de facto GM after having moved on from Bill Belichick, all five teams in need of a GM have filled their post this offseason. If other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list.

Updated 5-11-24 (4:35pm CT)

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Washington Commanders

More Bill Belichick Fallout: Kraft, Falcons, Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, Commanders

Plenty has emerged in the wake of Bill Belichick going from eight-time Super Bowl champion to unemployed, but as the legendary coach regroups, some additional information about what went down in Atlanta — along with other teams’ coaching searches — has come to light.

Connecting some dots based on what has previously come out this offseason, ESPN.com’s Don Van Natta, Seth Wickersham and Jeremy Fowler report in an expansive piece that Falcons execs dissuaded Arthur Blank from hiring Belichick and Robert Kraft played a major role in the process that ended up veering away from an overqualified candidate who had initially appeared the favorite for the job Raheem Morris now has.

On the morning of the day Morris became the pick, Belichick still viewed himself as likely to land the job. Blank confirmed the 24-year Patriots HC did not ask him for personnel control, but power brokering — given Belichick’s outsized influence and experience — is believed to have still gone down in Atlanta’s front office. As a result, Belichick felt “blindsided” by the Morris hire.

CEO Rich McKay and GM Terry Fontenot did not want to work with Belichick, according to ESPN, which adds the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC was willing to work with the fourth-year GM (while confirming he and McKay’s less-than-stellar relationship). A previous report pointed to Belichick’s concern with Fontenot and the Falcons’ overall power structure. Fontenot, McKay and Falcons president Greg Beadles were part of the Falcons’ second Belichick interview.

Going so far as to reveal Falcons brass’ final rankings for the HC job, Fowler, Van Natta and Wickersham indicate Belichick did not finish in the top three for the Atlanta position. Beyond unanimous top choice Morris, Mike Macdonald and Texans OC Bobby Slowik respectively slotted second and third in this process.

Kraft is believed to have played a role in Blank backing off his initial hope to hire Belichick. A conversation between Blank and his longtime friend came after the Jan. 15 Blank-Belichick yacht meeting, and ESPN reports the Patriots owner warned the Falcons boss not to trust the accomplished HC.

Seeing as this comes during an offseason that has seen more information come out — via the much-discussed The Dynasty series — about Kraft’s issues with Belichick, it is hardly surprising the longtime Pats owner would provide such a warning. Robert Kraft, who considered ousting Belichick after 2022 (before son Jonathan Kraft advised against), referred to Belichick as “very, very, very arrogant, per ESPN. A Robert Kraft spokesman denied the owner, who was naturally complimentary of the game’s second-winningest HC upon the January separation, disparaged Belichick to Blank.

Belichick had already assembled a coaching staff, with some familiar names indeed believed to be part of it. Beyond plans to bring Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge aboard, former Texans VP (and Patriots staffer) Jack Easterby was on the radar to be part of a Belichick Atlanta staff. Falcons execs expressed reservations about this staff, with ESPN adding Blank also questioned why this group failed elsewhere. Belichick reportedly responded by saying this group was comprised of “better soldiers than generals.” Judge has since joined Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss staff. The Texans moved on from Easterby in 2022.

New Commanders GM Adam Peters, a Patriots scout in the 2000s, discussed the HC position with Belichick. Minority owner Magic Johnson pushed for Washington to hire the Maryland native, but Josh Harris — who spoke to Kraft about Belichick in December — had decided he would not make that move. We had heard previously the NBA and NHL owner wanted a more collaborative approach, which many current NFL owners prefer, rather than handing the keys to one person. With Harris wanting a front office-oriented leadership structure, Peters has final say on Commanders football matters. Belichick was not interested in the Chargers.

The three other NFC East HC jobs may well be open in 2025, and ESPN notes Belichick would be interested in the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants positions — should they open up. The Eagles did work on Belichick before determining Nick Sirianni would stay, with Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman viewed as fans of the future Hall of Famer, and the former has been close with Jerry Jones for many years. Lurie looks to have joined the Falcons in expressing hesitancy in greenlighting a Belichick move that would bring major changes while qualifying as a short-term fix.

Belichick, who turned 72 on Tuesday, is now six years older than the oldest HC ever hired (Bruce Arians). Any team that considers a 2025 hire would be adding someone who will turn 73 before coaching his next NFL game.

A Belichick confidant also expressed doubt the former Giants DC would earn another HC job unless Jones signs off on a Cowboys hire. Mike McCarthy‘s lame-duck status will keep Belichick rumors going, it would seem, but for now, a TV gig appears in the works. Belichick is expected to join Peyton Manning‘s Omaha Productions for analysis-based work. ESPN’s Pat McAfee also announced Belichick will be part of his show’s draft coverage (video link).

Fifteen wins shy of Don Shula‘s career record, Belichick is believed to have informed allies he expects to land at least one interview next year. While the NFC East jobs are worth monitoring, the bumps the Patriot Way has taken — coupled with Belichick’s age and implied threat to organizations’ status quos — leave it far from certain he will have a third opportunity to lead an NFL team.

Bill Belichick Had Assembled Staff, Was Prepared To Cede Personnel Control

Famously, only one HC-needy team — the Falcons — conducted a formal interview with Bill Belichick this offseason. While Belichick is believed to have also had reservations about the Atlanta power structure, he was interested in the job and had hoped to land a third head coaching position this offseason.

The 24-year Patriots leader was prepared enough for another opportunity he had a coaching staff in place, according to SI.com’s Albert Breer. While Belichick was under consideration for the Atlanta job, a rumor about the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC having spoken to some of his former staffers about Falcons roles surfaced. It appears Belichick may have been even further along on this road.

Coaches organize staffs during the interview process, with the Rooney Rule only applying to coordinator positions. And it is certainly interesting Belichick had done so. Though, given the Super Bowl mainstay’s legendary attention to detail, it is not exactly surprising he had a group ready to go in the event he landed a job in the wake of his Patriots separation/dismissal.

Longtime Belichick lieutenants Josh McDaniels, Joe Judge and Matt Patricia were viewed by some around the league as likely to follow the NFL’s second-winningest coach were he to have ended up with a job during this year’s cycle. That trio, given the Patriots’ post-Tom Brady stumbles, may not have been especially appealing to an owner. And Belichick ended up speaking with only the Falcons and Commanders about positions. Washington’s new ownership group did not formally interview Belichick. After two Falcons meetings — the first with Arthur Blank, the second with a larger group — Belichick ended up losing out to Raheem Morris.

Issues involving a potential clash between Belichick and Falcons brass, including president Rich McKay and GM Terry Fontenot, were rumored to have been part of the reason the team went in another direction. But Blank said earlier this offseason Belichick did not ask for personnel power during the interview process. While the veteran’s football knowledge and experience would have presented a complication for McKay and Fontenot in a setup in which a coach-only role was in the offing, the Patriots’ drafts and decisions of the past few years — the Patricia-as-OC 2022 move standing out — did not reflect well on Belichick.

But Breer adds Belichick was fine ceding personnel control at his next stop. With the 11-time Super Bowl HC/DC planning to revisit a coaching push in 2025, that will be relevant. It will be fascinating to see how teams navigate a pursuit of Belichick in a coaching-only role, given his 24-year run overseeing all football matters in New England. And Belichick’s age (72 on Tuesday) will naturally be an issue (as it was for the Falcons), as no team has hired a head coach older than 66 in NFL history. But this will continue to be a key NFL storyline, one that will make certain coaching situations — particularly a few in the NFC East — of particular interest.

Bill Belichick Expected To Return To NFL In 2025

We’ve written plenty about former Patriots head coach Bill Belichick over the last few months following his departure from his long-time post in New England, and after the extensive recent coverage, it seems that we shouldn’t expect to hear from him for quite a few months. After missing out on the Falcons’ open head coaching position, Belichick is expected to take the 2024 NFL season off in anticipation of jobs that could open up in 2025, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Rapoport reports that, once the Falcons made their decision to hire Raheem Morris, several team owners reached out to Belichick in order to gauge his interest in returning for the 2025 NFL season. This seems questionable, as every team in the NFL currently has a head coach in place, but with a few coaches’ contracts set to expire after next year, those owners are set to make sure they have their bases covered. That’s not to mention owners who may be anticipating a hot seat for their current team leaders.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tells us that, while Belichick was certainly interested in the Atlanta job, a number of factors kept him from being too crestfallen about missing out. The future of general manager Terry Fontenot and the power structure with chief executive officer Rich McKay were both concerns of Belichick’s. Moving forward, next year, those types of factors will be a part of his decision-making process.

Fowler also tells us that Belichick’s reputation as a history buff could factor into his decision-making, offering that the 71-year-old could prioritize historic franchises when picking out his next destination. This lines up with rumors we’ve heard about the Cowboys and Eagles, whose head coaches could be on hot seats after disappointing ends to their 2023 campaigns. This also throws in a franchise like the Bears, who have had four different head coaches since 2012.

We’ll have plenty of time to speculate over the next several months. For now, suffice it to say that Belichick is widely expected to return. He is 15 wins shy of breaking Don Shula‘s all-time wins record (including playoffs) and is reportedly motivated to pass that mark. He’ll just have to wait another year to do so.

Arthur Blank: Bill Belichick Never Asked To Control Falcons’ Football Ops

This offseason brought an unusual development involving a prospective coaching hire. The most accomplished coach to ever land on a carousel exited this year’s ride without a job. Bill Belichick‘s credentials are unmatched, but steady rumblings about what he would do upon taking a job look to have impacted his current free agency status.

A rare instance of power brokers interviewing a candidate and protecting their own job security came out as a reason Belichick is not currently the Falcons’ head coach. This component may well have led other teams to steer clear of the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC, who is believed to have only spoken with only one other team — the Commanders — about a coaching vacancy this offseason. While Belichick is believed to be planning to regroup with an eye on 2025, the Falcons now reside as the “what if?” team regarding the NFL’s second-winningest coach.

[RELATED: Latest On Falcons’ Quarterback Plans]

While calling Belichick’s interviews “excellent,” Arthur Blank said (via ESPN’s Michael Rothstein) Belichick did not ask the Falcons for full control of their football ops department during his interview process. A report indeed suggested the 71-year-old coach was targeting such power, though Belichick and Blank were not believed to have discussed this directly.

I want to be clear really on behalf of Bill, just as a human being and as a storied coach in the history of our league,” Blank said during an appearance on NFL Network’s Super Bowl Live. “Been a coach 49 years in the NFL. Bill, during all of our discussions with him, it was never about power, control, needing people to work for him, etcetera. He was interested in coaching. He definitely wanted a collaborative relationship with personnel, scouting.

He had done his reference checking on our department, had committed to me that he’d be happy to work with our people. In fact, did it in writing through a text message he sent to me at one point.”

Belichick met with Blank in a one-on-one setting before the second summit included members of the Falcons’ brass. Going into the second meeting, Belichick was viewed as the favorite. Following the larger-scale powwow in Atlanta, the team started moving in a different direction. It is natural, then, to assume the reports of Falcons brass steering Blank away from Belichick have some truth to them. GM Terry Fontenot said it was Blank’s call to hire Morris, but the fourth-year GM said (via Rothstein) he led the interview process. This came after a Falcons statement — issued in the wake of Arthur Smith‘s firing — said Blank and CEO Rich McKay would lead the search as Fontenot provided input.

One of the reports in the wake of the Falcons’ Raheem Morris hire pegged Belichick and McKay as having a less-than-stellar relationship. Despite moving out of the GM role in 2009, McKay has been a key Falcons decision-maker since. The team made a point of announcing the former Super Bowl-winning GM (with the Buccaneers) would step away from involvement in football ops moving forward. Friday, Blank said the experience Morris and Fontenot possess helped lead him to slide McKay toward the business side.

Given McKay’s 30-plus years in front offices and his 20-plus years with the Falcons, it is difficult to imagine he will not retain a voice in football matters — to some degree, at least. But Blank said Friday both Morris and Fontenot will report directly to ownership. Pointing toward Morris’ experience would seemingly represent a dig at Smith, but the former has been in the NFL much longer. Morris’ NFL run includes a three-year stay as Bucs HC and spending much of the 2020 season as Falcons interim HC.

Bill was really focused and is focused on being a great head coach, which is clearly what he has been,” Blank said. “We looked at all the candidates that we interviewed, all the time together, and we felt for a variety of reasons that the best choice for us at this point in our lives, the life of the franchise going forward, is Raheem Morris.”

If Belichick were to book more HC interviews in 2025, teams will naturally want to know the football lifer’s expectations regarding personnel control. He held dual HC/GM roles throughout his Patriots stay. Even if Belichick makes a point of indicating he is fine being only a head coach and not a de facto GM, having someone with his experience in the building and that organization giving someone else final say would be quite the interesting dynamic. After the Falcons passed, it will be a bit before these scenarios resurface.

Bill Belichick Fallout: Falcons, GM Power, Morris, Eagles, Cowboys, Patriots, QBs, Kraft

This coaching carousel’s music has stopped with Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel on the outside looking in. While Vrabel’s prospects of returning to the league figure to remain strong, Belichick’s age — and the developments during this year’s hiring period — inject uncertainty into his prospects of landing another NFL HC job.

No coach in Belichick’s age range has landed a job, with Bruce Arians (66) being the oldest HC hire. Belichick’s age (72 in April) was naturally a factor for the Falcons, who interviewed him twice. But a degree of territory protecting appears to have transpired as well.

Arthur Blank indeed wanted to hire Belichick this year, SI.com’s Albert Breer notes, adding that some around the longtime Falcons owner swayed him. Belichick loomed as the early favorite, but after the team expanded its search (including Vrabel and Jim Harbaugh) following his second interview, it signaled a different candidate would be hired. The Falcons hired Raheem Morris, whom ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter notes has a five-year contract.

Morris remained popular with Falcons players, though the bulk of the cogs from his season as interim coach are gone. Had Belichick been hired by the Falcons, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones notes an organizational “groundshake” — on both the football and business sides — would have taken place. Staffers being concerned about losing their jobs or seeing their roles change dramatically is understandable, and this appears to be a key part of why Belichick is not currently assembling a staff in Atlanta.

Blank and Falcons CEO Rich McKay ran the team’s coaching search, with a team announcement indicating GM Terry Fontenot would provide input. This would suggest a vulnerability regarding the fourth-year GM’s status, but McKay assured following the Arthur Smith firing that was not the case. The Morris hire effectively keeps Fontenot in good standing, and although the Falcons have said the GM will now report to ownership — with McKay being kicked to the business side — The Athletic’s Jeff Howe indicates the latter does not have a good relationship with Belichick (subscription required).

A Belichick arrival would have undoubtedly meant a reduced Fontenot and potentially affected McKay’s, though given the latter’s 21-year tenure with the Falcons, Blank should not have been expected to dismiss his former GM to appease Belichick. Blank remains loyal to McKay, per Yahoo.com’s Charles Robinson, who adds McKay’s longstanding relationship with Morris — whom he hired as a quality control assistant in Tampa during his run as Buccaneers GM — played a role in the Rams DC being hired.

Although a coach with Belichick’s credentials being shut out during this year’s cycle points to front office staffers being concerned about job security, it is also believed certain demands from the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC were set to ensue. Belichick and Blank are not believed to have discussed who would hold final say on personnel matters, but Robinson adds the coaching icon believed had he taken the job the Atlanta football ops would need to run through him. Shortly before the Belichick-Patriots separation, the 24-year New England HC expressed a willingness to relinquish some authority to stay. It does not appear that entailed a true commitment to change.

Had Robert Kraft believed Belichick would have been more open to changes — from his front office to philosophy to roster construction — Howe adds the owner would have been more inclined to keep him onboard for the 2024 season. Belichick’s Patriots contract ran through 2024, but Kraft followed through with a long-rumored plan to move on. The contract he authorized for Jerod Mayo in 2023 led to the assistant being quickly promoted.

The post-Tom Brady years in New England have also played an obvious role in Belichick’s extended status as a coaching free agent. Belichick’s handling of his quarterback position following Brady’s 2020 exit has also impacted teams’ view of him, Howe adds, with Mac Jones‘ swoon serving as the crux of this concern. Belichick crafted a bizarre plan to shift Matt Patricia to the offensive side, where he called plays in 2022.

This season brought a significant downturn for Jones, who finished behind only Ja’Marr Chase in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. Jones’ regression continued, under a third OC in three years (Bill O’Brien), and his NFL future is suddenly cloudy. Belichick demoted Jones to his third-string quarterback in Week 18, with ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss indicating poor scout-team work leading up to that contest prompted the departing HC to make that move. This marked the final chapter in a steadily deteriorating relationship between Belichick and the passer he chose 15th overall three years ago.

Belichick’s comments regarding Jones — before his 2023 freefall — have also confused some execs around the league, Howe adds. Had Belichick kept his Patriots job, ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano offers that he would have been expected to target a veteran quarterback this offseason. Belichick’s only Patriot-years season with a veteran option featured Cam Newton in 2020; the diminished MVP became a one-and-done in New England. Newton’s limitations in 2020 led to the Jones investment. It will now be on Mayo, and however the Patriots go about restructuring their front office, to solve this latest QB problem.

Belichick the coach continued to churn out stingy defenses, even without key pieces this season, but his GM work left the Patriots with one of the NFL’s worst rosters. Belichick’s personnel acumen previously equipped the Brady-led teams with a number of undervalued gems, aiding the Super Bowl runs. But the near-50-year NFL staffer’s standing has undeniably fallen. Only the Falcons and Commanders are believed to have spoken with Belichick about their HC jobs.

The Eagles and Cowboys, however, may be teams to monitor for the 2025 cycle — one that could conceivably be Belichick’s last chance to land another HC job. Both teams considered Belichick last month, but each NFC East power retained its embattled coach.

The Eagles retained Nick Sirianni, but had the Super Bowl HC not agreed to certain demands regarding his coordinators, the Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard indicated during an appearance on 98.5’s Felger and Mazz (h/t Bleacher Report) a Belichick-to-Philly path is believed to have been viable for 2024. The Eagles likely joined the Falcons in making backchannel contact pertaining to a potential Belichick pursuit, Bedard notes. Unlike Doug Pederson in 2021, Sirianni did fire coordinators. It is safe to place Sirianni, his 3-for-3 rate at leading the Eagles to the playoffs, on a hot seat.

Bedard noted the Eagles were “very interested” in Belichick, pointing to this connection remaining a storyline should Sirianni struggle to reassert himself this season. The Eagles would almost definitely not hand final personnel say to Belichick, given Howie Roseman‘s track record (the 2015 Chip Kelly-driven demotion notwithstanding). That would make this fit interesting, but were Belichick to spend his first season away from the NFL since 1974, it stands to reason he would go into the 2025 hiring period with reduced requests regarding the personnel side.

Jerry Jones also made headlines by saying he could work with Belichick, saying (via Yahoo’s Jori Epstein) there is “no doubt” he could coexist with the towering sideline presence. Jones openly saying he’d be fine with another (more accomplished) coach than is own is telling, but Mike McCarthy remains in place for a fifth season. The Cowboys are not extending McCarthy’s contract, making him the rare lame-duck HC in the modern NFL. This will naturally keep Belichick on the Dallas radar. How Belichick would navigate a setup in which ownership runs the personnel would be interesting, though Jones did cede more power to Belichick mentor Bill Parcells during the latter’s four-year stay in the 2000s.

As for this season, Jonathan Jones points to Belichick taking a TV job as the most likely 2024 path. The 29-year HC veteran was planning to be selective about a third HC destination, with Jones adding the goal will remain for personnel power to be involved in a 2025 pursuit. The clock is ticking on that front, with only four coaches in NFL history coaching a game beyond age 71.

Although Belichick’s football knowledge will obviously far surpass anyone he attempts to work with moving forward, the Patriots’ post-Brady years — along with potential consequences for in-house staffers on HC-needy teams — have him in the penalty box for now. With no retirement plans, Belichick’s potential re-emergence in 2025 will be a major NFL storyline over the next several months.

Commanders Spoke With Bill Belichick About HC Job

While multiple reports came out suggesting the Commanders were not interested in Bill Belichick, the longtime Patriots HC may have spoken to two teams about HC positions this year.

The Commanders are believed to have spoken with Belichick about the job, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. Some internal support existed for a hire, though not too much appears to have developed on that front. Five teams went with defense-oriented candidates this year, making it even more interesting the greatest defensive coach in NFL history does not have a job.

[RELATED: Commanders Expected To Retain Martin Mayhew]

Belichick met with the Falcons twice about their job and was viewed as the early favorite. But that prospective partnership fizzled, leading to Raheem Morris landing the Atlanta job. Both the positions to which Belichick was connected went to candidates who served as Falcons HCs in 2020; Morris succeeded Dan Quinn in the interim that year. Quinn became the team’s Ron Rivera successor Thursday morning.

Although a brief Belichick-Commanders connection formed as the regular season ended, Russini’s report runs counter to what came out when the Patriots and Belichick parted ways. The Commanders were not believed to be interested in the Maryland native for their job, and a Wednesday follow-up indicated the team expressed issues with Belichick’s age and how he would fit on a rebuilding team. Belichick’s willingness to work alongside new football ops president Adam Peters is also believed to have come up during the Washington search.

It is possible the above-referenced concerns developed after the Commanders discussed the job with Belichick, though no official interview was ever reported. The Falcons reported both their meetings with the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC. Ben Johnson appeared positioned as the favorite for the Washington job, but the Detroit OC — just before his second interview with the Commanders — informed both the Commanders and Seahawks he was staying with the Lions. It is unclear if Quinn served as a consolation prize, but given the smoke surrounding Johnson, assuming that is the case would not be a stretch.

Belichick joins Mike Vrabel and Pete Carroll as longtime HCs out of the mix for the 2024 season. The 24-year New England leader has not been connected to retirement, sitting 14 wins shy of Don Shula‘s all-time record. Belichick and Vrabel’s statuses stand to make the 2025 coaching carousel fascinating, as that could conceivably represent the former’s last chance to land another NFL HC job. At 48, Vrabel obviously has more time. Belichick, 72 in April, has been an NFL staffer in every season since 1975. He has not worked as an assistant since being the Jets’ defensive coordinator in 1999.

2024 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

The Commanders’ hire has wrapped this year’s cycle. Barring a team making an 11th-hour change, the 2024 HC carousel has come to a stop. The final breakdown produced five defensive coaches being hired compared to three with backgrounds on offense. Many teams are still searching for offensive and defensive coordinators, however.

Updated 2-1-24 (10:37am CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • Jerod Mayo, linebackers coach (Patriots): Hired

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Commanders Not Considering Adding Bill Belichick, Mike Vrabel To HC Search

Two Commanders HC candidates dropped out of the race Tuesday. Ben Johnson, the presumed favorite, informed the Commanders and Seahawks he would stay with the Lions. Bobby Slowik, who interviewed with Washington twice, is sticking with the Texans.

This could conceivably prompt the Commanders to expand their search. The Cardinals made this move last year midway through their search. Two big names remain available, in Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel. The Commanders have not interviewed either candidate, being rumored early during this year’s carousel spin to be steering clear of Belichick. That has not changed, per Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano, who adds no indications have surfaced that Vrabel will be an 11th-hour candidate.

Regarding Belichick, Vacchiano indicates the team is leery about the six-time Super Bowl winner’s age (72 in April) and status working alongside a football ops president (Adam Peters) who has roster control. Belichick operated as the de facto Patriots GM throughout his 24-year tenure, and personnel power was believed to be an issue for the Falcons, the only team to interview the coaching icon during this cycle. Although Belichick is a Maryland native, internal questions as to whether he would want to oversee a rebuild have also emerged.

The Commanders’ reasoning for avoiding Vrabel is less clear, but the six-year Titans HC — who had been mentioned for weeks as a trade asset — looks likely to join his former coach in being shut out this year. Vrabel, 48, is well regarded around the league. But he has not interviewed for either of the two remaining HC jobs. The Seahawks have been connected to being interested in Vrabel, but they are now well into their second interviews. It would appear Seattle has determined to look elsewhere as well.

After Johnson and Slowik dropped out, only one candidate with an offensive background — Eric Bieniemy — remains in the mix for the Washington job. The 2023 Commanders OC is not viewed as a serious HC candidate, according to Vacchiano. After Bieniemy’s failure to land a head coaching job became a lightning-rod NFL topic during his Kansas City run, only Washington interviewed him this time around. The team’s offense struggled down the stretch, finishing with an eight-game losing streak and worse rankings worse than it did during Scott Turner‘s final season calling the shots.

That said, some around the NFL have wondered if the Commanders are still gauging Bieniemy’s fit with the next coach as an OC, Vacchiano adds. It would surprise if Josh Harris were to saddle his next HC hire with the OC Ron Rivera brought in, but Bieniemy does bring considerable experience to the table. Regardless of his shortcomings in HC interviews, the five-year Chiefs OC worked as Andy Reid‘s right-hand man during one of the NFL’s prolific offensive stretches. It would not surprise to see Bieniemy become a candidate to keep his job, but ownership insisting on him staying seems unlikely.

Many in the NFL expected Peters to pursue an offense-oriented coach after seeing how Kyle Shanahan revived the 49ers, Vacchiano adds, noting the team is likely to draft a quarterback at No. 2 overall. As it stands now, a defense-geared coach will be mentoring Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels — should the Bears stay on course and select Caleb Williams atop the draft — in 2024, while Belichick and Vrabel ponder their next moves.

As of Wednesday, no more interviews are scheduled. The Seahawks are interviewing Mike Macdonald for a second time today, while Dan Quinn is also a candidate for the Seattle job. Here is how the Commanders’ search looks: