Bill Belichick leaving Patriots after 24 seasons, sources say

Mike Reiss covers the New England Patriots for ESPN as an NFL reporter. Reiss joined ESPN in 2009 and has coated the Patriots since 1997. In 2019, he was chosen Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Yr by the Nationwide Sports activities Media Affiliation. Reiss’s Twitter deal with is @MikeReiss.

In accordance with league sources that spoke to ESPN, Invoice Belichick and the New England Patriots are scheduled to separate methods on Thursday after an unimaginable 24 seasons collectively. This may put an finish to an NFL run that’s unequaled and that included six Tremendous Bowl championships.

Belichick and Robert Kraft, the proprietor of the Patriots, met for the higher a part of this week to debate the respective plans for all sides. There was reportedly no argument or confrontation, based on folks with data of these discussions, and in the long run, fruitful negotiations produced a call that happy each events.

As one outsider identified, Belichick and Kraft each “took the excessive street,” which was acceptable for the owner-coach mixture that may go down as among the best and most profitable in NFL historical past.

With one 12 months left on his deal, Belichick is free to depart the workforce with out the Patriots pursuing cost. In accordance with league insiders, he’ll need to proceed teaching and is anticipated to pique the curiosity of at the least just a few of the opposite seven NFL groups which have head teaching openings, most notably the Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots are about to start out their first head-coaching search in 25 years. In accordance with insiders, Jerod Mayo, the linebackers coach for the Patriots, who the group prolonged within the offseason and who Kraft has acknowledged as a possible head coach, is anticipated to be one in every of, if not the highest candidate, for the place. Mayo was a 2008–2014 Patriots participant and has been Belichick’s assistant since 2019.

Lower than twenty-four hours will possible move earlier than Belichick leaves New England, after his shut good friend Nick Saban’s retirement from Alabama.

The exits of two soccer legends—males regarded by many as the most effective school soccer coach and the most effective skilled coach in historical past—have a sure symmetry and familiarity. Whereas Saban guided Alabama to 9 SEC titles and 6 nationwide championships, Belichick assisted in main the Patriots to 9 Tremendous Bowl berths and 6 Tremendous Bowl victories.

Moreover, a long time earlier than all three of them left their long-standing positions this week in a 24-hour interval, Saban succeeded Pete Carroll because the Ohio State secondary coach in 1980; Belichick collaborated with Saban from 1991 to 1994 as head coach in Cleveland; and Belichick succeeded Carroll because the Patriots head coach in 2000.

Belichick and Kraft’s choice to half methods isn’t a surprise, however it does deliver with it a sure unhappiness. Kraft has highlighted how essential it was that the Patriots qualify for the postseason this 12 months. Slightly, on December 10, they had been among the many first groups eradicated.

The 2023 season noticed quite a lot of hypothesis concerning Belichick’s future, with one of many workforce’s worst moments occurring on November 12 in a 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt, Germany.

Earlier than that sport, 82-year-old Kraft mentioned to NFL Community concerning the earlier season, saying, “It is actually been disappointing.” I knew our fan base did too, and I had hoped for a lot better. We did not anticipate this taking place this 12 months.”

The workforce’s trajectory following quarterback Tom Brady’s free company departure following the 2019 season was one other necessary consideration for Kraft. The Patriots have misplaced three of their final 4 seasons after shedding Brady, which harm Kraft. Their most up-to-date postseason victory got here on February 3, 2019, in Tremendous Bowl LIII, a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, when Brady was nonetheless a member of the workforce.

With 333 profession wins (together with playoffs), Belichick, 71, departs New England in second place all-time behind Don Shula’s 347. Because the NFL’s postseason play started in 1933, simply three coaches have received six championships: Belichick, George Halas, and Curly Lambeau.

Belichick coached one workforce for twenty-four years, which was the fifth-longest tenure of any head coach. In 2023, he completed his forty ninth NFL season in a row, which is the longest steady seasons as a coach in league historical past.

He’s now hoping to play for a distinct NFL workforce throughout season quantity fifty.

These marks, that are anticipated to stay in place for the foreseeable future, are additionally included on Belichick’s resume:

  • With 17, Shula leads all head coaches in NFL historical past in division titles received; Andy Reid, Tom Landry, and Andy Reid are tied for second place with 13.
  • 9 convention championships, essentially the most by a head coach within the Tremendous Bowl period.
  • Twelve Tremendous Bowl occurrences (counting his assistantship).
  • With 21 victories in his managerial profession, he’s solely surpassed by Halas (40), Shula (33), Lambeau (33) and Landry (29).
  • One of many NFL’s 4 good and untied common seasons (2007). Underneath the 16-game schedule that was performed between 1978 and 2020, it was the one one.

Thursday at 12:00 ET, the Patriots and Belichick will maintain a information convention that may sign the tip of an unimaginable chapter in soccer and Patriots historical past.

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