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NFL insider details potential process for Bill Belichick’s retirement

Matt Johnson
Bill Belichick
Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is heading into the 2022 NFL season as a 70-year-old, one of the oldest coaches in professional sports. While he still loves running a team, there are already conversations about how much longer he will be on the sideline.

Despite Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft expressing some discontent with the team’s results in recent years, Belichick controls his future. The eventual inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame won six Super Bowls for New England and is one of the winningest coaches in NFL history.

As of now, Belichick has no plans to retire. He and the organization are excited about the growth shown by quarterback Mac Jones and there is confidence this team can contend. However, there is plenty of mystery about what will happen when Belichick decides to retire.,

The Patriots’ icon has never been fond of spending time in the spotlight, often giving short answers during press conferences. The demeanor shown throughout his career would suggest he could retire quietly, exiting the NFL without any real warning or fanfare.

In an interview on The Rich Eisen Show, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran addressed the eventual process of Belichick retiring. While there is uncertainty regarding exactly how he will do it, the belief is he will let the Patriots know his decision ahead of time.

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“He hasn’t communicated to anyone his intentions to leave. I think the supposition is within the organization at the very highest levels that ‘Bill will let us know.’ He’s not going to just say, “Yeah, I’m cleaning out my desk today, I’m out of here.’ He would let them know.”

Tom Curran on how Bill Belichick might make his decision on retirement

This doesn’t mean he will follow in the footsteps of his friend Mike Krzyzewski. The college basketball legend announced his retirement months in advance, resulting in opponents often honoring him before games. While it allowed for so many to honor one of the most impactful figures in college basketball, it’s likely not the kind of reception Belichick wants on his way out.

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As for who will succeed Belichick, that’s another unanswered question. Josh McDaniels seemed like the obvious choice before becoming the Las Vegas Raiders head coach this offseason. Matt Patricia or Joe Judge could be options, but both men have failed head-coaching stints on their resumes.

Bill O’Brien could be another option. The Patriots’ organization has always been high on him and his background working with quarterbacks offers additional appeal. If Belichick decides to retire within the next few years, O’Brien may become the favorite to replace him.

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