Prior to the New England Patriots’ loss to the Colts in Germany, owner Robert Kraft pontificated about how disappointed he was in the Pats’ lost season. This only caused speculation to swirl that the legendary tenure of head coach Bill Belichick was soon coming to an end.
Although Belichick knocked off the Steelers on Thursday Night Football to improve to 3-10 and made a most welcome cameo on ESPN’s College GameDay for Saturday’s Army-Navy game, Kraft was around for the rivalry matchup as well. Whatever goodwill Belichick built up by showing a bit of personality was kind of undercut by Kraft yet again hinting that Belichick may well be done after the 2023 season.
With Robert Kraft on the Gameday set, Pat McAfee not so subtly hints at parting ways with Belichick.
Kraft: “We like to win, so we want to do everything we can to get our team back so we can be winning.”
Like why do this? For who? For what? Such a vibe kill overall. Then again, I guess it’s an unconventional way to basically put feelers out into the football world and say, “This job is about to be open, any takers!?” Wild to do it with Belichick on-site, though! Cold-blooded, Bob Kraft.
The Athletic dropped a report recently about Belichick’s tenuous future in New England. Therein were three “high-ranking executives” who believed Belichick could fetch a first-round pick in a prospective trade. Given the dire state of the Patriots roster that Belichick constructed — the cupboard is particularly bare on the offensive side of the ball — whomever is in charge going forward could use the extra premium draft capital to say the least.
Even if a trade isn’t executed, I’m sure there’ll be a publicly diplomatic way for Kraft and Belichick to amicably part ways. They did have a hell of a run together. Six Super Bowls. Say what you will about “Belichick is nothing without Brady!” The defense is still good. It was just impossible to find a suitable, comparable replacement for TB12 so soon after his departure. Belichick leaned on his good buddy Nick Saban and got enough of an endorsement to draft Mac Jones in the first round. Jones has only regressed from leading New England to the playoffs as a rookie.
It’d be dope to see the Patriots start over. Seeing Belichick elsewhere would be jarring at first, but it’d add such an interesting wrinkle to his legacy. Also, here’s a fascinating answer provided by Belichick prior to that win over the Steelers:
Bill Belichick asked if he still wants to be the coach of the Patriots:
"Yeah. I'm looking forward to this week and getting ready for the Steelers."
Which franchise in their right mind who needs a new head coach wouldn’t at least entertain the idea of trading for him, or paying a boatload of money to acquire him? Maybe The Hoodie’s failures as a personnel guy would hurt his market a little. In any event, a big change-up and reset for the Pats and Belichick seems like the best move for all parties involved.
Kraft seems fed up. I think it’s a little classless to air laundry like this to the masses. But hey, as long as it ends with a good long-term fit of a coach who can carry the Patriots into a flourishing new era, Kraft will be thrilled. Then of course, the intrigue around Belichick’s next move would be through the roof. I’m here for all of it.