In New England, the situation has deteriorated significantly, as the Patriots now find themselves at the bottom of the AFC standings. This downturn has naturally sparked discussions about Bill Belichick’s job security and his future with the organization. Additionally, the Patriots’ poor record has led some NFL insiders to speculate about the possibility of Belichick seeking employment elsewhere next season.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, there is some “talk within certain league circles” suggesting that the Commanders might make a bid for Belichick in the upcoming offseason. While Florio cautions that this is not a confirmed report, it is an idea currently circulating in the league.
While the pairing of Belichick and the Commanders may appear unconventional, Florio explains that there is some rationale behind it. The Commanders indicated at the trade deadline that they are looking to start fresh under new owner Josh Harris, possibly resulting in changes among coaches and executives. Who better to lead the next chapter of Washington football than one of the greatest coaches in NFL history?
For the Patriots, such a move could help them avoid the complications and financial implications of either firing Belichick or parting ways by mutual agreement. Additionally, if Belichick is still under contract for the 2024 season, the Commanders would need to provide compensation to the Patriots. This extra draft capital could be valuable for a team that is lacking in future assets and is considering a significant rebuild.
Nonetheless, there are challenges associated with this potential pursuit, and neither side is likely to publicly acknowledge these rumors. Firstly, the Commanders must adhere to the Rooney Rule, necessitating proper interviews for head coach and GM candidates. The second challenge is Belichick’s contract, which may be subject to interpretation. If it indeed lasts only through the 2024 season, it could lead to a situation similar to how the Patriots handled Tom Brady’s departure.
Albert Breer of SI.com believes that Patriots owner Robert Kraft faces a difficult decision regarding Belichick’s future this offseason. If Belichick’s contract does extend through 2024, the organization is unlikely to let him enter the next season with a lame-duck status.
Florio also questioned the recent reports of Belichick’s contract extension, speculating whether they may have been leaked by the Patriots to signal that they will determine Belichick’s future destination.
Not long ago, the idea of Belichick being fired seemed far-fetched. Over his more than 23 years with the Patriots, he built two dynasty squads, won six Super Bowl rings, and climbed the all-time wins list for coaches. However, since Tom Brady’s departure, the team’s performance has declined. The Patriots went 7-9 in their first season without Brady, but they showed improvement with rookie Mac Jones in 2021, reaching the playoffs with a 10-7 record.
Nevertheless, in recent years, the team has taken significant steps backward. Despite last season’s 8-9 showing, the 2023 season has begun with a dismal 2-6 start, and Belichick has faced criticism for questionable coaching decisions, his handling of Jones and the quarterback position, and his recent subpar draft selections.