Bill Belichick is a free agent for the first time this century. But no one seems interested.
Even after a legendary run with the New England Patriots that saw him earn the most Super Bowl titles of any coach in NFL history and a career record of 333-178 (counting the playoffs), teams looking for a new head coach appear to be passing on the 71-year-old Belichick.
Seven teams (not counting the Patriots) have had head-coaching openings this offseason. Only one seems to have seriously considered him. The Atlanta Falcons have been the only team to interview Belichick, but after two meetings with him, they went a different direction, opting Thursday for former Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.
The only two teams still looking for a coach have signaled they aren’t interested in Belichick. Both the Washington Commanders and Seattle Seahawks are onto their second round of interviews with candidates, and neither met with Belichick the first time around.GO DEEPERBelichick a long shot for Commanders, Seahawks vacancies: Sources
Why has it gone this way? It was always going to take the right scenario. Belichick is expected to want more than $20 million per year, which is more than many owners want to pay a head coach. He’s also 29-38 since Tom Brady left New England. And he runs things differently than most after serving as both head coach and de facto general manager for so long with the Patriots. At a time when many owners are seeking collaboration, it’s understandable some would be reluctant to hand total power over to one man.
So it’s looking more and more like Belichick, who has been chasing Don Shula’s all-time wins record (he’s 15 shy of overtaking him), might not be an NFL coach in 2024 for the first time in 49 years. His wait for another head-coaching job — if he still wants one by then — could continue into 2025.
With that in mind, let’s have a little fun and imagine the teams and scenarios that could return Belichick to the head-coaching ranks next year.
When the Cowboys lost in the wild-card round earlier this month, it was easy to envision Jerry Jones sending a quick text to Belichick asking him to hop on the next plane to Big D. Instead, Jones is keeping Mike McCarthy around for 2024, albeit without a long-term contract. Belichick has developed a relationship with Jones over the years, and it’s not outrageous to think Jones could make a splash post-McCarthy by bringing in the best coach of the NFL’s modern era.GO DEEPERAre the Patriots about to become the Cowboys, and vice versa?
New York Giants
This would be a full-circle moment. Belichick won his first two Super Bowls as an assistant on Bill Parcells’ staff with the Giants. He left with an appreciation for the Giants, which didn’t always happen when he left previous jobs (more on that later). Brian Daboll is returning to the Giants for a third season, but the 2022 NFL coach of the year is coming off a 6-11 season and is replacing two coordinators. If that doesn’t go well, perhaps there could be an opening here for Belichick.
Since we’re talking full-circle moments, how about a reunion where Belichick got his first head-coaching gig in 1991? Kevin Stefanski did a great job keeping the Browns afloat after an injury to Deshaun Watson and through the subsequent transition to Joe Flacco. But this will be his fifth season at the helm in Cleveland, and if it concludes without a playoff win, perhaps there’s a path here for Belichick.GO DEEPERWhat's next for Bill Belichick? Broadcasting would be a natural — and lucrative — fit
The Bears need stability. They’ve had four coaches in the last 10 years. Belichick isn’t going to be a long-term answer for anyone, but he can take over an organization and implement a winning culture. Matt Eberflus is back for another season, likely with a rookie quarterback at No. 1 overall. But let’s not forget that the Bears fired head coach John Fox at the end of the 2017 season, one year into working with a highly drafted quarterback.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints feel like a team that has been lost without Drew Brees and Sean Payton, one that seemingly always has an old roster and salary-cap problems. Bringing in Belichick would mean handing over the keys to the entire operation. But if the Saints struggle again next season, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Speaking of good stories, what if Belichick followed in Brady’s footsteps? The quarterback needed a break from Belichick’s intense and exhausting coaching style, so he left New England in 2020 and won a Super Bowl the following season with the Buccaneers. Coach Todd Bowles’ Bucs were one of the NFL’s most positive surprises this season, but he’ll have to hire a new offensive coordinator after Dave Canales is set to get the Panthers’ top job.GO DEEPERWhy 'Belichick is nothing without Brady' is the dumbest sports argument ever
Like the Cowboys, there was talk of Buffalo looking for a new leader after a disappointing playoff loss, but that won’t be happening for at least another year. Under Sean McDermott, the Bills have become one of the best teams in the league — though they haven’t been able to get over the hump and reach the Super Bowl. So why not bring in a coach with ample experience and loads of success on the biggest stage? This one wouldn’t be ideal for Patriots fans who would have to see Belichick twice a year in the division. But it wouldn’t be as bad as …
Kansas City Chiefs
All right, hear me out. Andy Reid is 65 years old. There were rumors last year that he was considering retirement. If the Chiefs win another Super Bowl in a few weeks, perhaps Reid would surprise many around the league and hang ’em up. Then, what if the Chiefs decide to pair Patrick Mahomes with the coach who helped turn Brady into the GOAT? Yes, it’s a little crazy. It’s also hard to imagine a worse scenario for Patriots fans than being stuck watching Belichick and Mahomes topple some of the dynastic New England records that once seemed like they’d stand forever. (I’m sorry for even putting this one into the ether, Pats fans.)
Former Patriots coach Bill Belichick shakes hands with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes after Kansas City’s 27-17 win in Week 15. (Eric Canha / USA Today)
New York Jets
Now we’re getting into the really absurd. Belichick’s disdain for the Jets has lasted 24 years, going back to when he dismissively ditched the franchise via a note and joined the Patriots. When he did a “30 for 30” documentary with Parcells revisiting their time in New York, Belichick refused to even visit the Jets locker room after discussing his time with the Giants. So this probably ain’t happening. But … the Jets could be looking for a restart if Aaron Rodgers, whom Belichick is friendly with, struggles next season. Could you imagine?!
(Top photo: Robert Deutsch / USA Today)
As an avid football enthusiast and a keen follower of the NFL, my extensive knowledge of the league, its teams, and key figures positions me well to provide insights into the current situation surrounding Bill Belichick, the legendary coach. I have closely followed his career, from his successful tenure with the New England Patriots to the recent developments indicating that he might not secure a coaching position for the 2024 NFL season.
Let's break down the key concepts and elements mentioned in the article:
Bill Belichick's Legacy:
- Belichick is a highly accomplished coach with a legendary run with the New England Patriots.
- He holds the record for the most Super Bowl titles of any coach in NFL history.
- His career record, including playoffs, stands at an impressive 333-178.
Current Head Coaching Opportunities:
- Despite Belichick's remarkable track record, several NFL teams with head-coaching vacancies seem uninterested in hiring him.
- Seven teams, excluding the Patriots, had head-coaching openings this offseason.
- The Atlanta Falcons were the only team to seriously consider Belichick, but they opted for Raheem Morris.
Potential Reasons for Lack of Interest:
- Belichick is reportedly seeking more than $20 million per year, a salary that some owners might be unwilling to pay.
- His coaching record has been less impressive since Tom Brady left New England (29-38).
- Belichick's dual role as head coach and de facto general manager might be a deterrent for owners seeking collaboration.
Speculation on Future Coaching Opportunities:
- The article explores potential scenarios and teams that could bring Belichick back to head coaching.
- Teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and New York Jets are mentioned as possibilities.
- Jerry Jones, the Cowboys' owner, has a relationship with Belichick, but they opted to retain Mike McCarthy for 2024.
New York Giants:
- Belichick won his first two Super Bowls as an assistant with the Giants, and there could be an opening if the current coach faces challenges.
- Considering Belichick's history with the Browns, a reunion could be plausible if the current coach's tenure concludes without playoff success.
- The Bears, known for coaching turnover, might benefit from Belichick's ability to bring stability and implement a winning culture.
New Orleans Saints:
- The Saints, struggling post-Drew Brees and Sean Payton, might consider Belichick to lead a turnaround.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
- The idea of Belichick following in Tom Brady's footsteps is explored, considering the success Brady had after leaving New England.
- The Bills, under Sean McDermott, are a strong team, but the article suggests Belichick could bring experience and success to the franchise.
Kansas City Chiefs:
- A speculative scenario is presented where Andy Reid's potential retirement could lead to Belichick coaching Patrick Mahomes.
New York Jets:
- Despite Belichick's historical disdain for the Jets, the article speculates on the possibility of a restart if circumstances align.
In conclusion, the article delves into the dynamics of Belichick's coaching career, the current lack of interest from NFL teams, and potential future scenarios that could see him return to the head-coaching ranks in the league.