Robert Kraft ‘might be willing’ to fire New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick in 2024 in one scenario

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is one of the most impactful figures in the history of the National Football League and is partially responsible for one of the best dynasties in NFL history. However, he could be among the NFL coaches fired in 2024.

Following Tom Brady’s departure, the Patriots have made the playoffs just once in the last three seasons and they haven’t won a playoff game since Super Bowl LIII in 2019. With owner Robert Kraft setting extremely high expectations for the franchise, each season since Brady left has been a disappointment.

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Belichick’s recent draft history has also played a role in New England falling short of expectations. Top draft picks from 2016 (Cyrus Jones), 2017 (Derek Rivers, Antonio Garcia), 2018 (Isaiah Wynn, Sony Michel), 2019 (N’Keal Harry, Joejuan Williams) and 2022 (Tyquan Thornton) either haven’t produced or didn’t earn a second contract in New England.

In addition, Belichick’s decision to replace offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge backfired in 2022. Weighed down by one of the worst offenses in the NFL, New England struggled last season. Now heading into Week 1, there’s more confirmation that Belichick is on the hot seat this year.

During an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham shared his belief that Belichick’s seat in New England is warm and it’s very possible the Patriots part ways with him in 2024. However, Wickersham only believes it will happen if the team doesn’t show signs of progress this fall.

“I think it’s warm. It’s my opinion that I, I think if the season ends and the trajectory of the franchise is clearly trending down, that I think Kraft would weigh making the move very, very, very hard and might be willing to.”

Seth Wickersham on whether or not New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is on the hot seat

It tracks with previous reporting from the offseason that Kraft could be willing to cut ties with Belichick if the team falls short of its goals in 2023. While it’s possible the Patriots would make it a graceful exit by announcing the two sides “mutually parted ways”, it would effectively be the same as firing Belichick.

Related: NFL insider suggests Bill Belichick on the hot seat

Belichick has been far more critical of Belichick in recent years, going after the head coach’s decision to make Patricia the offensive coordinator in 2022 and placing the blame on Belichick for Mac Jones’ second-year struggles. With patience wearing thin in New England, a change might be in everyone’s best interests.

For now, Belichick will remain in charge of the Patriots’ football operations with expectations that they will have an elite defense and be a playoff contender this fall. However, the writing has been on the wall for just over a year and another disappointment in Kraft’s eyes might ultimately result in one of the biggest firings in NFL history.

If Belichick is fired, New England would conduct an extensive search to find his successor but linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is viewed as the strong favorite to become the next Patriots’ head coach.

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