New England Patriots

Cam Newton explains why Panthers job could be ‘enticing' for Belichick

The ex-Patriots and Panthers QB sees Carolina as a fit for Bill Belichick if he leaves New England.

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There is no shortage of speculation about Bill Belichick's head-coaching future amid his disastrous 2023 season with the New England Patriots.

With the Patriots taking a 2-9 record into Week 13, it's becoming a real possibility that Belichick's 24th season in Foxboro will be his last. But if his time in New England has run its course, where may he end up in 2024?

There likely will be a handful of head-coach vacancies across the NFL this offseason. Among them is the Carolina Panthers job, which opened up when Frank Reich was fired after the team's 1-10 start.

It doesn't seem like the most probable destination for Belichick. After all, why would arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history want to start anew with a struggling organization? Never mind one with an owner in David Tepper who has gone through five coaches and three interims in the last seven years.

Former Panthers and Patriots quarterback Cam Newton shared his thoughts on the matter during a recent episode of his "4th&1" podcast.

"I think (David) Tepper, knowing what I do know, he's hoping that he can land Bill Belichick. That right there will be a win-win-win-win for David Tepper," Newton said.

"The thing that I know would be the enticing lure to it, is because Tepper will give him everything that he would need. And also, that will allow Belichick to say, 'You know what, things didn't work out (with the Patriots), now I can show you I can do it somewhere else.' "

When Newton says "Tepper would give Belichick everything that he would need," he's likely referring to control over the entire operation. Wherever Belichick ends up, it's unlikely he'd be willing to relinquish control over personnel decisions. If Tepper would allow Belichick to operate as the head coach/general manager, it might give Carolina the edge over other potential landing spots.

The one significant drawback for Belichick would be his pursuit of Don Shula's all-time head coach wins record. He currently sits 17 wins behind Shula, and it could take several years to break the record with a rebuilding Carolina squad that hasn't had a winning season since 2017.

The Panthers can't be counted out, but the Washington Commanders and Los Angeles Chargers seem like more enticing options for Belichick if those head-coaching jobs open up.

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