As the 2023 season is nearing its end and the Patriots have been officially eliminated from the playoffs, the speculation surrounding Bill Belichick's future will inevitably begin to heighten. It's a debate that began within the first month of the year, and now that they have only won three games this season, the tenured head coach's eventual fate has dominated headlines each and every week.
It even became the leading takeaway from Robert Kraft's appearance on College Gameday ahead of the Army/Navy matchup at Gillette Stadium. Host Pat McAfee alluded to a coaching shakeup this offseason, with Kraft responding with a head shake. It was a reaction that some felt indicated Belichick may be out the door, while others aren't buying too much into it at all.
Regardless, whatever decision is ultimately made continues to be discussed by analysts and even former Patriots players. The latest to add his two cents is Julian Edelman, who shared his belief that three people within the organization probably already know what will happen at the end of the season.
"It’s going to be interesting. I really honestly think only three people know what’s going to happen next year: Bill, RKK [Robert Kenneth Kraft, the Patriots owner] and Jonathan [Kraft, the team’s president]. I don’t think they’re going to address it until the season’s over. So, I think that’s where we’re at."
Considering the names he mentioned are the most important people within the organization, it would make sense for them to all have an understanding of what's going to happen and/or a plan for the future.
Because the report revealed they reached an agreement on a contract extension during the offseason, it seems to imply that Belichick will be sticking around next year. But should that be something that has already been decided, even though it is Belichick we're talking about?
Edelman also could be spot-on about them all knowing that right now, despite four games left before the end of the season.
However, it doesn't seem like the smartest idea to have already concluded how they will go about the offseason, given how much improvement is needed for the team. Clearly, sticking to their usual way of doing this will not cut it. If they've already decided that personnel changes will not happen, then it doesn't appear as though they are willing to make the significant changes they might need to implement.
Of course, Edelman isn't reporting this as fact and is just speculating himself that this is happening behind closed doors. But it is something to consider when discussing the team's future and whether it will include Belichick.
It will be one of the biggest offseasons in recent memory for the Patriots, only falling behind the year Tom Brady decided to leave the team. It could rival that time if Belichick is indeed fired, traded, or walks away. It is a significant move that the organization is completely overhauling from top to bottom to become a winning team again.