Quick Slants

Curran: Pats can't afford Belichick decision to be drawn-out process

"Foot-dragging for compensation is not the way to go."

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If the New England Patriots decide to move on from long-time head coach and de facto general manager Bill Belichick, they may as well trade him to get some value in return. However, it appears Robert Kraft and Co. may not rush to make such a move at season's end.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport wrote over the weekend that "while the expectation is that a decision on (Belichick's) future will play out over the next month, sources also say it could take longer than that." The downside of that, as our Tom E. Curran stated on a recent Patriots Talk Podcast, is that waiting for the best possible compensation could hurt the team's transition to a new head coach.

Curran expanded on that point during Tuesday's episode of Quick Slants.

"If the Patriots are going to stand on Bill Belichick and make a bidding war emerge, that's not going to help the team very much," Curran said. "Say they end up extracting a second-round pick from the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for Bill Belichick, but it takes three weeks for that to happen. That's three weeks less that the new coach has to prepare the team. Three weeks less that there is a personnel department with a clearly defined vision for 2024."

Thanks to Belichick's track record and the six Super Bowl championships he brought the franchise, Robert Kraft and the rest of the Patriots' ownership group could give Belichick the respect of having some conversations before making any moves. If the Patriots do decide to move on from Belichick after those conversations, which could go on for weeks, New England would then have to find potential trade suitors.

On the cusp of breaking Don Shula's record for most wins as a head coach, Belichick may only want a move to a team that helps him break the record. Once a suitor is found -- Curran used the Chargers in his example -- the teams would then have to negotiate to find fair value for both sides, which could take a few more weeks.

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With time adding up between internal discussions and trade negotiations, a new coach and GM coming in wouldn't have ideal time to prepare for the future. With a high draft pick likely in the 2024 draft, the Patriots need to get their picks right for the betterment of the franchise. Would you want the new GM or coach to rush on a pick, especially one that is projected to be the next franchise quarterback? Whoever takes Belichick's role needs to have as much time as possible to get the team back on track.

"[The Patriots have] the third most cap space in the NFL this offseason," Curran added. "There are oodles of expiring contracts among valuable players that they have to decide whether or not they are going to bring them back or not. And yeah, there's a top-two pick the Patriots are going to have to start scouting and making decisions on."

While making the move to let Belichick go is a hard one, it needs to be done swiftly. The band-aid needs to be ripped off so the franchise can move forward in a new direction. Is a possible second-round pick worth risking the future of the organization?

"Foot-dragging for compensation is not the way to go," Curran concluded.

Watch the full episode of "Quick Slants" below:

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