The Gameplan

Two reasons why Bill Belichick will ‘never' coach the Chargers

It all comes down to Chargers owner Dean Spanos.

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Where will Bill Belichick be coaching a year from now?

While the writing appears to be on the wall for the Patriots head coach in New England, indications are that Belichick wants to continue coaching, and his Hall of Fame resume should attract at least a small handful of suitors.

One of those suitors could be the team he'll face this Sunday: The Los Angeles Chargers have lost back-to-back games to fall to 4-7, and some believe Brandon Staley could be the next head coach to lose his job.

If Belichick is serious about catching Don Shula on the NFL's all-time coaching wins list, the Chargers should appeal to him: They have an elite quarterback in Justin Herbert, plenty of offensive weapons and a pair of Pro Bowl pass rushers in Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa.

NBC San Diego's Derek Togerson, who has covered the Chargers for years, agrees Belichick would be a "good fit" for the franchise.

He also believes Belichick-to-Los Angeles is a pipe dream.

"I'm here to tell you he will never coach the Chargers, because the Chargers are not going to pay a coach," Togerson told host Tom Giles on NBC Sports Boston's The Gameplan.

"Look at (last) offseason: Sean Payton was basically begging to come here and coach the Chargers. He wanted to work with Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen -- you talk about generational talents on that side of the ball. He would even take a cut down to around $10 million a year. And the Chargers said, 'No, we're good. We're going to stick with Brandon Staley.'

"In fact, their last three head coaches, Mike McCoy, Anthony Lynn and Brandon Staley, combined make about $11.5 million a year. It's simply not going to happen."

A report from Sportico this week pegged Belichick's annual salary with the Patriots at $25 million, the highest in the NFL. If notoriously frugal Chargers owner Dean Spanos wasn't willing to hire Payton for $10 million per year, it's hard to see him paying up for Belichick, despite all of the Patriots coach's accomplishments.

Even if Spanos and Belichick somehow found common ground financially, however, Togerson believes there's another roadblock in the Chargers' pursuit of Belichick: Spanos' dynamic with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

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Togerson pointed out that Spanos is often "in Kraft's hip pocket" at the NFL Owners Meetings, seemingly "following (Kraft) around like a puppy dog."

"He has a lot of reverence for Robert Kraft," Togerson said of Spanos. "He will more or less do anything that Kraft tells him to or not to do. My guess is the last thing that Robert Kraft wants to have happen is for another Brady situation to transpire, where he goes somewhere else and wins the Super Bowl. Well, I think Kraft sees that Chargers roster and goes, 'The right coach could probably do some damage.'"

To avoid the humility of watching Belichick have success elsewhere -- less than five years after Tom Brady left New England to win a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Togerson believes Kraft would try to talk Spanos out of acquiring his head coach.

"I don't think he would advise Dean Spanos to make that hire," Togerson said of Kraft. "I think he'd say, 'Listen, we're letting him go because he's washed, he can't coach anymore. Look at what's happened. He drafted two kickers and three guards in the draft.'

"I think Kraft would really poison the well with Dean Spanos, telling him, 'Yeah, you don't want that. I'm doing you a favor, Deano. I'm telling you don't get this guy.' Because he knows if Bill comes here, he not just could, but very likely would have a whole lot of success."

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