With the Patriots entering their bye week at 2-8, all eyes are on Bill Belichick and whether or not his reign in Foxborough is coming to an end.
The discourse surrounding Belichick’s job security has flared with each new loss handed to a lackluster roster largely assembled by the future Hall-of-Fame coach.
And while former Patriots like Tedy Bruschi and NFL insiders like Ian Rapoport have dismissed rumors that Robert Kraft might opt to fire Belichick before the 2023 season ends, it’s becoming clear that even a coach with the lofty resume of Belichick won’t be immune. for the consequences that a hugely disappointing campaign can have.
Speaking on “The Pat McAfee Show,” ESPN insider Adam Schefter acknowledged Monday that Belichick’s future in Foxborough is far from guaranteed, with Kraft’s decision looming as one of the storylines in the NFL.
“We’re in the time of year where teams are making a playoff push or their coach is coming under fire… “Belichick, I think, is obviously going to be the most interesting subject of pretty much every NFL story right now, and what a decorated franchise and a veteran owner and historic coach all decide to do this at the end of the season,” Schefter said. “And we don’t know how that will go.
‘None of us know how that will go. But everyone is waiting for it and the fact that it is a topic at all makes it so interesting.”
During NBC’s NFL coverage on Sunday night, former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett joined the large chorus of former football players, coaches and staffers who don’t believe Kraft will rip off the Band-Aid and fire Belichick, either during the bye week or during the final seven Patriots games.
“This idea that they’re going to make a move with Bill Belichick during the season, I just think it’s unconscionable.” Garrett said. “I don’t care what the record is, I don’t care what decision was made. It’s unconscionable. For the past 22 years, this has been the model franchise in all sports. There’s some credibility to it. It should be able to weather a few storms.”
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith doesn’t just believe Belichick’s tenure with the Patriots is about to end. He is already predicting where he will end up as a coach in 2024 and beyond.
“I think it’s over,” Smith said Monday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “I think Bill Belichick will be gone eventually. I think he’ll be in the nation’s capital, or he’ll be coaching the Los Angeles Chargers. God knows they need a new head coach. There’s no doubt about that. It’s just the way it goes. The reality is this is a bad situation.”
Longtime football writer Peter King has also mapped out a few potential landing spots for Belichick if the Patriots choose to part ways — listing the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Commanders, Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears as viable options. in his latest column for NBC Sports.
“The Cowboys could be in the game, I think, only if they don’t win the division, have a few lackluster performances and go winless in the playoffs,” King wrote. “In that case, I saw Jerry Jones chasing Belichick and repeating the history of 20 years ago. Before you say Belichick would never work for Jerry, think back to 2003, when we all thought Bill Parcells would never work for Jones.
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