Bill Belichick’s Future with the NFL Patriots

Bill Belichick undoubtedly stands as one of the most legendary NFL head coaches of all time, a fact that makes it almost trivial to question his current position with the New England Patriots. As the only coach with an astonishing six Super Bowl trophies to his name, Belichick ranks third on the all-time list for regular-season wins and boasts the highest number of playoff victories (31) among his coaching peers. When Belichick is at the helm, NFL Lines are gonna favor the Pats.

However, cracks have started to appear in the Patriots’ dynasty. In the three seasons since Tom Brady’s departure, Belichick’s Patriots have missed the playoffs twice and failed to secure a victory in their lone postseason appearance, while Brady went on to capture yet another Lombardi Trophy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Is Bill Belichick’s Job Security at Risk?

NFL Coach Bill BelichickThe Patriots finished the 2022 season with an 8-9 record, narrowly missing out on a playoff berth. Yet, behind that middling record lay a disastrous offensive season in New England. Under the guidance of defensive-minded coaches Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, the Patriots ranked a disappointing 24th in offensive efficiency. Additionally, second-year quarterback Mac Jones experienced regression, casting doubts on his relationship with Belichick.

Reports emerged of tension between Jones and Belichick, with indications that their rapport had not improved over time. Belichick was reportedly perturbed that Jones sought advice from external sources regarding the team’s offensive plans and even contacted the University of Alabama coaching staff for insights into their schemes.

During the offseason, there were reports of the Patriots shopping Jones, although subsequent updates suggested that he may not have been actively on the trading block. Nonetheless, Jones slipped from 16th in the QBR rankings in 2021 to 28th last season and was briefly benched for rookie Bailey Zappe.

These developments raise concerns about the alignment between the former first-round quarterback and Belichick. Interestingly, Jones was observed attending Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s birthday party in early July, appearing to be among only a handful of active players present. Such a close relationship between Jones and the team’s ownership could potentially create a challenge for Belichick.

Privately, some of Belichick’s friends have expressed concerns that he may face increased scrutiny during the upcoming season. Although Kraft did not issue an ultimatum to Belichick, he also refrained from providing a long-term commitment to the future Hall of Fame coach when questioned about his tenure.

Rejuvenating the Patriots’ Offense and Succession Plan

To rejuvenate the Patriots’ offense, Belichick has brought back former offensive play-caller Bill O’Brien to fill the same role. The hope is that O’Brien, along with Jones, can turn things around in 2023. However, apart from a few personnel changes, such as replacing Jakobi Meyers with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki, most of the offensive lineup will remain unchanged. In an AFC that has become even more competitive over the offseason, the Patriots are not NFL Odds darlings for reaching the playoffs.

At 71 years old, Belichick’s time as an NFL head coach is undeniably limited, even if the Patriots allow him to depart on his terms. Interestingly, the Patriots made a peculiar announcement in January stating their intention to interview offensive coordinator candidates for the 2023 season. Given the organization’s historical secrecy, this move signaled a potential shift in the involvement of owner Robert Kraft in staff decisions.

Of note, the press release also revealed ongoing negotiations for a new contract with inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, a highly respected figure on the Patriots’ coaching staff who has garnered interest as a potential head coach across the league. Mayo declined an interview with the Carolina Panthers and will return for his fifth season as a Patriots coach.

Kraft publicly expressed his view that Mayo could potentially succeed Belichick and highlighted his belief in Mayo’s unlimited career potential. Furthermore, Mayo was present for all of Belichick’s interviews with offensive coordinator candidates throughout the offseason, showcasing the high regard he commands within the Patriots’ organization.

Should Belichick decide to step away or be compelled to do so, Jerod Mayo emerges as the most apparent candidate to assume the helm. Mayo’s widespread respect among both ownership and Belichick himself suggests he may be the chosen successor.

As we contemplate the future of Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, uncertainties persist. While Belichick’s credentials as a coaching legend remain unassailable, the recent challenges faced by the team have led to discussions about his job security. Moreover, the potential succession plan involving Jerod Mayo adds an intriguing layer to the Patriots’ ongoing narrative. Only time will reveal how Belichick’s career unfolds and whether Mayo ultimately steps into his shoes as the Patriots’ next head coach.