New England Patriots

Could Belichick return to NFL in 2024 … as a consultant?

The former Patriots head coach has plenty of free time on his hands.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Might a radical change to the NFL's kickoff rules help Bill Belichick find employment this year?

We know Belichick won't be an NFL head coach in 2024, as multiple teams passed him over after he and the New England Patriots parted ways in January. But if Belichick is open to a smaller role, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio believes a unique opportunity could present itself.

Florio argued in a column Thursday that teams should consider hiring Belichick as a consultant to get his thoughts on the NFL's overhauled kickoff rule, which completely changes the traditional play.

"Plenty of unattached coaches and personnel executives do plenty of consulting for teams," Florio wrote. "As best we can tell, the rules are there ain’t no rules. (Belichick) could, in theory, make plenty of money by going from team to team to share his thoughts on what can or should be done when kicking the ball or receiving the kick."

Florio's idea makes sense on paper; Belichick is a brilliant football mind with a well-known affinity for special teams who undoubtedly has unique opinions on how teams should approach the new kickoff rules. If a club is looking to gain an edge over its competitors, it's hard to imagine a better resource than Belichick in this department.

In reality, this arrangement would require some pride-swallowing on both sides: Belichick might feel spurned by the teams that passed him over and refuse to offer his services (even if they're paid), while NFL coaches and general managers may not love the idea of seeking help from Belichick over their in-house special teams staff.

But Florio suggested that NFL owners could avoid this issue by tapping Belichick for advice without telling their teams.

"Even if the current coaching staff would bristle at the idea of bringing him in for a day of brainstorming, ownership should solicit his ideas, pay for them if need be, and then pass them along to the head coach without saying where the ideas came from," Florio wrote.

Whether Belichick would even be open to this is unclear, but he does appear to have plenty of free time; the 71-year-old was spotted at the University of Washington where his son, Steve Belichick, is the new defensive coordinator, and also spoke at a recent University of Nebraska coaching clinic.

Contact Us