Longtime New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick could very well be coaching his final season in that role despite signing an extension ahead of the 2023 campaign.
Belichick, 71, has been under a tremendous microscope since Tom Brady departed the organization following the 2019 season. In fact, the six-time Super Bowl winning head coach has posted a combined 27-31 record since Brady’s exit.
At 2-6 this season, rumors continue to pop up that Patriots owner Robert Kraft might move on from Belichick after 24 wildly successful years.
Remaining back east, the Washington Commanders are in the process of changing up their culture under new owner Josh Harris after he bought the team from the disgraced Daniel Snyder earlier in the year.
Just recently, Washington dealt away former first-round picks Chase Young and Montez Sweat ahead of the NFL trade deadline. This goes to show us just how much of an imprint the Harris-led ownership group is having on the struggling franchise.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there is some talk within league circles that the two sides could come together this offseason in a deal that would send Belichick to the Commanders from New England.
“There’s chatter in some league circles that the Commanders might attempt to essentially trade for Patriots coach Bill Belichick in 2024,” Florio noted.
Before we conclude this is ridiculous, it’s important to note that another former Super Bowl head coach in Sean Payton was traded from the New Orleans Saints to the Denver Broncos last offseason. It could potentially become more of the norm around the league.
Bill Belichick could actually make sense for the Washington Commanders
First off, there is the status of current Commanders head coach Ron Rivera that we should cover. It couldn’t have sat well with the defensive-minded coach that Washington opted to deal away both Sweat and Young ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
Several media report indicate that Harris and the Commanders’ ownership group played a huge role in those decisions.
Rivera is a lame duck at this point. Washington has lost five of six since starting the season 0-2. It is seven games under .500 since Rivera took over back in 2020. Meanwhile, the widely-respected head coach has no built-in relationship with Washington’s new power elite. Rivera is almost certainly coaching his final season with the organization.
This could very well open the door for Washington to make a splash move for Belichick once the 2023 season comes to a conclusion.
- Bill Belichick coaching record: 300-158, .655 winning %, six Super Bowl titles
The process would be somewhat complicated. Washington would initiate contact with the Patriots in order to receive permission to speak with Belichick.
If the Commanders and Belichick agree it’s a good fit and come to terms on a contract, the ball would then be put in New England’s court with the team demanding certain compensation for the head coach.
It’s not much more different than a player seeking a new contract being given permission to speak with another team about an extension before his current team and the inquiring organization talk about compensation in a trade.
As noted above, Harris is looking to change up the culture within the Washington organization after the disaster class that was Daniel Snyder over the past quarter-century. He’s made no bones about this.
“From day one, it is our top priority to deliver you a championship caliber team, and we will strive every day to ensure that we are a franchise you can be proud of,” Harris said after his purchas of the Commanders was finalized.
What better way to do that than to acquire a legendary coach who has brought the same stability to New England over the past quarter century that’s been missing in Washington? It almost makes too much sense.
From the Patriots’ perspective, it simply might be time to move on to a new era while appreciating the success Bill Belichick has brought since joining the organization back in 2000.
Assistant coach Jerod Mayo is being molded to replace him, and has been for some time. He’s not going to sit back and be patient as the Pats retain Belichick in an ill-planned attempt to hold on to the glory days.