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Patriots owner Robert Kraft allegedly sank Bill Belichick’s chance to be Falcons’ new head coach in elite-level backstab move

bill belichick, robert kraft
Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

A new report on Bill Belichick’s quest to be the Atlanta Falcons’ new head coach reveals a candidate who seemed like a favorite early in the process but saw his chances fatally damaged by a warning from his former employer Robert Kraft.

A legendary era came to an end in February when New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick decided to mutually part ways after a disastrous 4-13 finish for the team in 2023. The decision had been rumored for months and brought an end to the greatest run for a head coach in NFL history.

Related: ESPN pursuing Bill Belichick, legendary NFL coach reportedly refusing specific role

Not long after Belichick hit the open market came rumblings that the Atlanta Falcons and owner Arthur Blank were the top suitors for the six-time Super Bowl winner’s services. That speculation only grew after he had a productive introductory meeting with the team. However, talks seemed to quickly fall apart, and soon after Raheem Morris was hired to be the team’s next head coach.

On Wednesday, ESPN published an in-depth look at the Belichick and Atlanta situation and reported that a source claimed Blank came away from their first meeting impressed and believing “this is my guy.” So then what happened that led to a drastic pivot by the Falcons brass? That is where Robert Kraft comes in.

The New England Patriots boss is viewed by his Atlanta Falcons contemporary as a close friend in the league, and some unsolicited advice from Kraft apparently helped to sink Belichick’s chances of landing the Atlanta job.

Robert Kraft reportedly told Atlanta Falcons owner he can’t trust Bill Belichick

bill belichick, robert kraft
Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

“In a conversation with Blank, Kraft delivered a stark assessment of Belichick’s character, according to a source who spoke to two people: a close Kraft friend and a longtime Belichick confidant,” ESPN reported. “The source quoted the Belichick source as saying, ‘Robert called Arthur to warn him not to trust Bill.’ That account was backed up, the source said, by a close Kraft friend.”

Kraft also allegedly told Blank “You’ll never have a warm conversation with” and that potential lack of a family-like connection reportedly helped to play a massive role in Blank and the front office deciding to shift away from Bill Belichick being their next head coach.

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