Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Could Belichick leave the Patriots after the season?

The fact that Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia are interviewing for head coaching jobs could indicate there is trouble in paradise in New England.

If only half of the article from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham hits the vicinity of the bull’s-eye, questions should be asked about the future in New England of not only Tom Brady but also Bill Belichick.

Eighteen years ago Thursday, Belichick ended his blink-and-you-missed-it tenure in New York by writing on a napkin that he resigns as “HC of the NYJ.” Will he soon be resigning as HC of the NEP?

If, as the report suggests, owner Robert Kraft has begun to meddle with the roster after years of not doing so, would Belichick decide to move on to a team where it would be like it was in past years? If Belichick was forced to trade Jimmy Garoppolo (or if Belichick simply got the impression he was being pushed in that direction), maybe Belichick decides that the time has come to try to become the first coach to win a Super Bowl with two different teams.

Depending on the terms of Belichick’s contract (terms that no one ever seems to know), Belichick likely will be eligible to leave only if he’s traded. And if his deal does indeed extend beyond the current season (it would be the shock of the century if it doesn’t), the Patriots would never let him walk away without compensation.

Whatever the compensation would be, it would be worth it. And the team that should be making the phone call to the Patriots is the Giants.

Of all the other teams in the NFL that Belichick would coach, the Giants surely are at the top of the short list. And they currently are looking for a coach.

Apart from what it would cost to get Belichick (again, worth it), new G.M. Dave Gettleman would have to be willing to give up much of the power he secured barely a week ago. Quite possibly, Gettleman would have to be willing to walk away, if Belichick wants someone else in the spot of primary shopping-cart attendant for the guy who cooks the meal and buys the groceries.

The joint statement from three main figures in this situation would seem to foreclose any type of divorce. After all, owner Robert Kraft told PFT Live last March that he hopes Belichick remains with the Patriots into his 80s.

Although people do indeed change over time, it’s hard to imagine Belichick, Brady, and Kraft making it for 17 years only to have it all collapse so quickly and dramatically. While the end is surely coming soon, the goal undoubtedly remains having a peaceful and orderly transition to a new quarterback in the short term and, at some point down the road, to a new coach.