The New England Patriots are 2-8 and sit at the bottom of the AFC standings following a brutal 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Germany on Sunday.
The Patriots haven't won just two games through 10 weeks since 2000, so this is a pretty unfamiliar situation for not only the team, but also many of its fans, players and front office personnel.
The debate over whether head coach Bill Belichick should be fired has intensified in recent weeks as the losses keep piling up. Those debates probably will get even louder during the bye week as everyone assesses the state of the franchise.
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Even though the team is at its lowest point in a long time, it's difficult to imagine Patriots owner Robert Kraft firing Belichick during the season.
Patriots legend Tedy Bruschi, who now works as an NFL analyst for ESPN, doesn't want to even entertain that discussion.
“My former Patriot hat I'll put on right here. When people talk about should Bill Belichick be fired mid-season -- listen, we are not the Las Vegas Raiders, and that is not Josh McDaniels right there,” Bruschi said on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown show shortly after New England's Week 10 defeat.
“You let Bill finish this out, Mr. Kraft. Then when it comes to whatever draft pick you have at the end, have that meeting. Whatever you come up with, what your decision is, whether he moves on or not, have it then. That discussion is asinine. That's something we don't even partake in."
Perhaps the best reason to stick with Belichick through the end of the year is so you can trade him in the offseason and get some sort of draft pick(s) in return.
He's under contract through the 2024 campaign, so he can't leave for another team unless he's fired or traded. If there's interest in Belichick from other teams, why fire him and let him leave for nothing? The best route is trading him to one of those teams because the Patriots need to stockpile as many good draft picks as possible to accelerate their rebuild.
You could also make the case that Belichick has earned the right to finish the season based on his accomplishments and contributions to the Patriots. He is a major reason why they have six Super Bowl banners hanging at Gillette Stadium. Firing a legendary coach during the season rarely makes a lot of sense.
"You would never treat a legend like that," ex-NFL head coach Rex Ryan said after Bruschi. "That's who this is -- Bill Belichick is an absolute legend, and he deserves a hell of a lot more than that. He deserves all the respect. Kraft is a great owner because of Belichick and Tom Brady. The man should be able to walk out on his own accord and go where he wants."