Bill Belichick's accolades as a football coach speak for themselves.

He's won eight Super Bowls as a coach. He's been nominated as the AP's NFL Coach of the Year three times. He holds the record for playoff wins as a head coach, and is tied for the record of most playoff appearances as a head coach. He's also 15 victories shy of the NFL record for wins by a head coach, trailing another legend, Don Shula.

Belichick is a great football coach, and one of the legends of the modern era in the National Football League. Yet, after the 2023 season, his reign of terror over 31 other NFL teams might meekly come to an end.

Are we really seeing the end of Bill Belichick's career in New England, and possibly, football?

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Reports Claim that New England Patriots Have "Plan" for Belichick's Exit

Though Belichick's future with the New England Patriots has been a source of speculation all season, the volume of that speculation has risen considerably this week. That increase in volume came thanks to a report from long-time Patriots' reporter, Tom E. Curran, who spoke about Belichick's future on NBC Sports Boston earlier this week.

Here's what he said:

Now, for those that do not follow the Patriots, or Boston sports media, if Tom E. Curran reports something regarding New England, it usually has merit. Curran has been covering the Pats for over two decades, and is more plugged-in to the happenings in Foxboro than most media members.

Regardless of the legitimacy of the report, it is still very hard to wrap your head around the fact that Belichick's tenure in New England is coming to an end.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Belichick, in partnership with QB Tom Brady, built the ultimate modern-era dynasty in New England. His Patriots' teams tormented the New York Jets for years, which is ironic, given the shady process through which Belichick ended up in New England.

Remember this?

Though Belichick is a legend, it's fair to say that he may have "lost his coaching fastball" in recent years. In the post-Brady era, Belichick has failed to construct the same dynamic, gritty rosters that he did during his prime years leading New England.

Adding insult to injury, the player whom Belichick trusted to play quarterback for the Pats, Mac Jones, has regressed significantly from his rookie year (a year in which New England made the playoffs) to now.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Now, the roster is a shell of itself, and the coaching philosophies that made Belichick so successful do not seem to be resonating with players the same way they used to. So, as crazy as it is to think about, if the Patriots do choose to move on from Bill Belichick at season's end, it's probably the right move.

Will Belichick hang-up the headset after leaving New England? It depends on a few things:

  • Does he want to pass Shula's wins record, no matter the cost?
  • Is there a team that will allow him to run football operations, in addition to coaching, after seeing how things fell apart in New England?

If the answer to both questions is yes (Chargers, anyone?), then I wouldn't be surprised to see Belichick resurface sooner, rather than later.

That being said, it still won't feel quite right.

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