Bill Belichick won’t be coach of New England Patriots next season, reports say

Michael Hurley, WBZ.com Sports

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BOSTON — The New England Patriots are moving on from head coach Bill Belichick, according to at least three reports Thursday morning.

ESPN, the NFL Network and CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones are reporting that Belichick will not be back as the Patriots head coach next season.

“Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick will address the media at noon today in the team auditorium at Gillette Stadium,” the Patriots said in a short statement.

(Watch live WBZ-TV coverage of the story right now on CBS News Boston in the video above)

Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft expected to “part ways”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Mike Reiss say sources told them Belichick and the Patriots “are expected to part ways today.”

They reported that both sides “spent a good part of this week periodically meeting and discussing how each side wanted to proceed. From sources familiar with those conversations, there was said to be no conflict, no disagreement, and in the end, productive talks resulted in a mutual decision that left both sides comfortable and at ease.”

“Belichick, who had one year remaining on his contract, will be allowed to leave the team without the Patriots seeking compensation,” Schefter and Reiss wrote.

Watch: What’s next for Patriots after parting ways with Bill Belichick?

Bill Belichick’s final season with the Patriots

It’s a decision that’s been speculated and reported on for most of the second half of the season, after the Patriots fell to 2-10 (their worst record through 12 games since 1992) and failed to regain their footing. The Patriots finished the season 4-13, losing to the Jets at home in Week 18 to snap the franchise’s 15-game winning streak over Belichick’s former team.

Previously, the Patriots hadn’t experienced a losing season like this one since 2000, which was Belichick’s first year with the Patriots. That year, Belichick was establishing his program — a program which won six Super Bowls and nine conference championships from 2001-18. With rare exceptions, the Patriots were perennial championship contenders from the moment Tom Brady took over as the starting quarterback until he left via free agency following the 2019 season.

But in the years since, the Patriots fell back to the pack, going 25-25 from 2020-22 until the bottoming out this season. New England is 29-38 since Tom Brady left after the 2019 season.

A report earlier this season indicated that Belichick had signed a “lucrative, multi-year” contract before the season, though a clarification later revealed that the extension only ran through the 2024 season. Another report indicated that after the loss to the Colts in Germany (a loss that dropped the Patriots to 2-8), ownership made a decision to move on from Belichick.

Bill Belichick’s career

The 71-year-old Belichick finishes his Patriots career with 266 regular-season victories and 30 playoff victories, far and away the most in franchise history. Mike Holovak (1961-68) ranks second in regular-season wins with 52, while Raymond Berry (1984-89) ranks second with three playoff victories. 

Watch: Look back at Bill Belichick’s historic tenure as New England Patriots coach

Belichick’s six Super Bowl titles in New England are the most ever by an NFL head coach. His 333 wins (regular and postseason) are the second-most behind Don Shula’s 347 victories. 

Passing Shula reportedly remains a focus for Belichick. For a while, it seemed like he’d easily surpass the record toward the end of his historic coaching run with the Patriots.

Now, Belichick will have to try to reach the top of the record books with a new team, while the Patriots are looking for a fresh new voice to lead the franchise.

Who takes over for Bill Belichick as Patriots head coach?

Several people have been mentioned, but none more than two of Belichick’s former players – Jerod Mayo and Mike Vrabel. Vrabel was fired earlier this week by the Tennessee Titans. Mayo has been part of Belichick’s defensive coaching staff since 2019.



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Michael Hurley, WBZ.com Sports www.cbsnews.com

SOURCE
2024-01-11 13:53:00 , Home – CBSNews.com

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