New England Patriots

Report: Details about Belichick's pivotal meeting with Kraft emerge

We could find out about Bill Belichick's fate fairly soon.


Bill Belichick's NFL coaching future could be decided less than 24 hours after the New England Patriots' season finale.

Belichick is scheduled to meet with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and team president Jonathan Kraft on Monday, ESPN's Mike Reiss said Thursday on the network's morning show, Get Up!

"Here's my understanding of what's going to unfold: Team owner Robert Kraft and team president Jonathan Kraft have a meeting with Bill Belichick that is currently scheduled for Monday," Reiss said. "And they're going to be looking for some answers as to why things have fallen off so dramatically this season."

The Patriots enter Week 18 against the New York Jets with a 4-12 record, worst in the AFC and the franchise's worst since 1992. New England is set to miss the postseason for the third time in four years, which obviously isn't sitting well with Kraft. Our Tom E. Curran reported that Kraft settled on a decision to part with Belichick after the Patriots' Week 10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and while Kraft reserves the right to change his mind, Belichick may have to do a lot of convincing on Monday.

"Robert Kraft has been very disappointed with the way this season has unfolded, naturally, and people that are close to him relayed to me that that disappointment has been so extreme to the point that he has strongly considered moving on from Belichick," Reiss added. "These people also tell me that no decision has been made at this point, and that's why this final meeting will be so important."

What case can Belichick make to keep his job? Our Patriots Insiders Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry role-played a hypothetical meeting between Belichick and Kraft on a recent Patriots Talk Podcast, with Belichick potentially pointing to his team's ability to keep games close despite a rash of injuries.

🔊 Patriots Talk: A deep dive on Bill Belichick’s case to remain with the Patriots | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"If you're Bill Belichick, don't you start with the number of close losses that you've had? That is maybe as good a case as any that Bill Belichick has to explain to Robert Kraft that we're not all that far off," Perry said. "It's seven one-score losses in 2023. ... Then you can talk about the injuries to Christian Gonzalez, Matthew Judon, and the offensive line. Then you can talk about the poor quarterback play. But if all of those other things align, then maybe some of those seven losses actually turn into wins, and maybe you're sniffing a winning record."

On the flipside, though, Kraft could retort that the roster wasn't constructed well enough to withstand those injuries, and that the Patriots still have the NFL's worst offense despite having most of the key players on that side of the ball for much of the season.

The Krafts may not make a decision on Belichick's future immediately after Monday's meeting; if they plan to trade Belichick, that could be a longer process that could drag out for several weeks. But at the very least, both sides will have a clearer picture of where things stand after Monday.

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