New England Patriots

Why Edelman views Chargers as an enticing Belichick destination

"I think he would definitely be interested in the L.A. job."

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Some former New England Patriots (looking at you, Rob Gronkowski) are still skeptical that Bill Belichick will be coaching a new team in 2024.

But Julian Edelman has no problem envisioning his former head coach on another sideline next season. In fact, Edelman sees one team in particular as an excellent landing spot for Belichick: the Los Angeles Chargers.

Edelman made the case for Belichick-to-L.A .recently on FS1's "The Herd" with Colin Cowherd.

"He has to, if he's free," Edelman said when asked if Belichick should consider the Chargers. "He's kind of gone down the young quarterback road this year, these last couple of years with Mac (Jones). You kind of know what you have with Justin Herbert -- you can build around that.

"They've got some pieces on defense, and they're lacking toughness. And what does Bill do? He brings toughness. ... I think he would definitely be interested in the L.A. job."

🔊 Patriots Talk: Julian Edelman on Mac, Bill and what’s next for the Patriots | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

If Belichick is serious about pursuing Don Shula's record for most NFL head coaching wins of all time -- he's 15 wins away right now, including playoffs -- the Chargers might give him the best chance to win right away. Los Angeles has its franchise quarterback and plenty of talent on both sides of the ball but hasn't been able to translate that talent into success, and Edelman believes Belichick could be the missing piece by helping the Chargers succeed at the intangibles, as he did so well in New England with Tom Brady at center.

What might work against Belichick landing in Los Angeles is the fact that team owner Dean Spanos is notoriously frugal and has been unwilling to spend big money on head coaches in the past. The Chargers reportedly declined to hire Sean Payton last offseason despite Payton offering to take a significant pay cut and their last three head coaches, Mike McCoy, Anthony Lynn and Brandon Staley, made roughly $11.5 million a year combined.

Considering Belichick reportedly makes about $25 million per year in New England, would the Spanos family really pay up to land him? It sounds like there's a possibility: Team president John Spanos insisted there will be "no limitations" on the salary of L.A.'s next head coach.

"I can tell you that there have been no discussions internally about there being a max (salary)," Spanos said, via The Associated Press.

The Chargers also could have the Patriots pay a chunk of Belichick's 2024 salary if they acquire Belichick in a trade, and if they're willing to give Belichick personnel control as well, they wouldn't have to pay for a new general manager.

Perhaps Belichick wouldn't want to move across the country and work for an unstable ownership group like the Spanos family, and perhaps an East Coast team like the Washington Commanders or Carolina Panthers would be more appealing.

But Edelman knows his former coach well and believes Belichick should at least pick up the phone if the Chargers come calling.

Edelman also spoke to our Tom E. Curran a recent Patriots Talk Podcast about the "hard conversation" Belichick will need to have with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and much more. Check out the episode here and on YouTube.

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