New England Patriots

Why Falcons could be a front runner to land Bill Belichick in 2024

"I'd keep my eye on Atlanta."

NBC Universal, Inc.

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are officially parting ways after a 24-year relationship that produced the most successful period for any team in NFL history, highlighted by six Super Bowl titles.

So, what comes next for the greatest pro football coach of all time?

Belichick is just 15 wins away from breaking Don Shula's all-time coaching record of 347 victories. Which team(s) makes the most sense for Belichick?

"I'd keep my eye on (the) Atlanta (Falcons). Atlanta is a team that is interested in Bill Belichick," NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry said Thursday morning on NBC 10 Boston.

Perry added: "The reasons why the fit is a snug one, in my opinion, starts with ownership in Atlanta. Arthur Blank is highly respected around the NFL. He also has been acknowledging to people around him, sources have told me, that there's a lot of urgency for him to win right now because he's getting up there in age. He's owned this team for a long time. And he's typically gone with new head coaches, first-time head coaches when he has made head coaching hires. I think he's going to want to do something different in order to try to win right away down there in Atlanta. Who better to hire than Bill Belichick?"

The Falcons went 7-10 this season. A lot of their struggles came down to lackluster quarterback play. Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke aren't going to carry you to the playoffs. If the Falcons can upgrade at that position, they absolutely could contend in a weak NFC South division.

"Their defense is pretty good. We know Belichick has a defensive background. They have an established run game, we know that's what Belichick likes to do on the offensive side of the ball," Perry said. "They're a quarterback away in Atlanta from contending, and there are a couple options out there for the Falcons that I think could work with Belichick and could work right away. Veteran options, so you wouldn't have to train a young, new quarterback.

"Atlanta, to me, makes a lot of sense. With the amount of relationships that Bill Belichick has around the league, it would surprise me if Bill Belichick hadn't already put out a few feelers to see how things were going in Atlanta and what direction they might want to go in. I think Bill Belichick would be interested in that destination."

The Falcons are scheduled to visit Gillette Stadium for a regular season game against the Patriots during the 2025 season. So if Belichick does take the Falcons job, we could see a homecoming in the near future. And who knows, maybe he'll even break Shula's record in Foxboro. Wouldn't that be something?

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