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New England Patriots owner refuses to commit to Bill Belichick past 2023

Bill Belichick took over the New England Patriots’ head coaching job in 2000. He’s never missed the postseason two seasons in a row. Yet, the Patriots missed the playoffs in 2022, and they don’t appear to be one of the strongest contenders coming out of the AFC heading into 2023, either.

If coach Belichick can’t get the Patriots back to the playoffs this season, is his job on the line? Or would the Patriots stick with him, so he can emerge as the NFL’s all-time coaching wins leader?

That’s essentially the question team owner Robert Kraft was faced with on Monday, and he didn’t exactly stick up for his longtime coach.

“Look, I’d like him to break Don Shula’s record, but I’m not looking for any our players to get great stats. We’re about winning, and doing whatever we can to win. And that’s what our focus is now. And I — it’s very important to me that we make the playoffs, and that’s what I hope happens next year.”

New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft on whether Bill Belichick is on the hot seat (H/T Pro Football Talk)

This sounds like a typical response from the Patriots. They don’t care about stats. They’re not in it for participation trophies. They only seek Super Bowls.

If Kraft doesn’t feel like coach Belichick is getting the job done, it doesn’t sound like he’d hesitate to pull the plug. Even if that means Belichick comes up shy of Don Shula’s record of 328 wins. Belichick is still 30 wins shy, meaning he’d have to coach at least three more seasons.

Belichick has managed to help the Patriots win a total of six Super Bowls, yet if the team continues to struggle, he may not have the job security one might imagine for an all-time great.

Related: New England Patriots owner admits Lamar Jackson is interested in joining team

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