Patriots Talk Podcast

Are Pats headed toward ‘worst-case scenario' with Belichick?

The longtime Patriots head coach's future in New England is in doubt.

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All eyes are on Bill Belichick with three weeks remaining in the New England Patriots' disastrous 2023 season.

Belichick's 24th season in Foxboro could be his last. Despite bringing six Super Bowl titles to New England, the legendary head coach finds himself on the hot seat after failing to clinch a playoff berth for the third time in four years. Our Tom E. Curran said recently that a decision on Belichick's uncertain future with the organization was made after Week 10, though it could change if the Patriots finish the season strong.

Over the weekend, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported that a decision could still take a while after the season concludes.

"While the expectation is that a decision on his future will play out over the next month, sources also say it could take longer than that," Rapoport wrote.

"... Either way, expect a period of evaluation when the regular season ends, with no immediate conclusion on Belichick coming."

Curran believes the Patriots could slow-play a possible Belichick trade in an effort to maximize their compensation this offseason. However, that strategy could backfire and cost New England a smooth transition of power.

He discussed the possible "worst-case scenario" for the Patriots with Phil Perry on a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

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"What I found most interesting about Rap's report was the details about the timeline, because he's setting the stage for what I believe could be a disastrous changeover in succession plan," Curran said. "Compensation for Bill Belichick cannot be the priority. They can't lose sight of the fact the most important aspect is, 'How do I get my team from being a 3-14 entity with no quarterback to being a team that has the arrow pointing in the correct direction?'

"That's their goal, and creating a pissing contest and delaying the succession plan, and pissing off Bill even more, might be the worst idea of all. Just for a first-round pick in 2024. Take a second-rounder in 2025, keep it clean, keep it tidy."

Perry sees a scenario in which Belichick would be open to a trade sooner rather than later.

"If Bill knows that there is some leverage on the Krafts' end, maybe he would be more amendable to a trade earlier in the process. If he looks at it and says, 'That doesn't do me any good. I do want to coach, so screw it. Of course I don't want to lose a valuable pick for whatever team I'm going to next, but if there's a chance that this entire thing blows up and I don't end up with the job that I want, then yes I'd rather give up the pick to Robert (Kraft) and go where I want so I can win some games right now and have some success at a different spot than going to work for FOX for a year.' ...

"You don't have to actually play out the worst-case scenario. Just understanding that it exists might be enough to allow Bill to concede in some way. This is going to be a negotiation of sorts."

Belichick is 15 wins away from tying Don Shula's all-time head-coaching wins record. Curran sees the Los Angeles Chargers as the ideal fit for Belichick if he hopes to reach that milestone quickly if/when he leaves New England.

"If he wants to coach, if he wants Don Shula's record, he needs to right now probably go to Kraft and say, 'Look, if you're leaning toward moving on from me, why don't you call the Spanos family and start talking to them, because I'd like to hear their pitch,'" Curran said.

Also in the episode:

  • Is Belichick setting up injury issues this season as the reason behind the team’s struggles on the field?
  • Does Belichick deserve credit for player development this year? Can you really say the team is moving in the right direction?
  • Is Belichick still the best coach in the league? Is strategy and game-planning enough?
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