New rumor says Bill Belichick is unsure about returning to the Patriots in 2024

Dec 24, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in the second
Dec 24, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in the second / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL season is almost over, with just two games left on each team's schedule, and the Patriots will be facing many questions as soon as they leave the field in Week 18. Although no decision seems imminent, whether or not Bill Belichick will return as New England's head coach next year makes the upcoming offseason far more significant than their evidentiary need for a roster makeover.

This is a situation that could dramatically alter the outlook of the franchise for years to come.

Rumors have been consistent throughout the year and have become the main focus of the team since it was clear their struggles would keep them out of the playoffs. And now that there are just two weeks left before they won't take the field again until next summer, Robert Kraft's ultimate decision about Belichick is becoming an unavoidable conversation despite the lack of details about the situation from anyone involved with the team.

Until this point, most chatter has suggested Belichick hasn't discussed the impending decision about his career behind closed doors, but the latest update from Boston Sports Journal's Mike Giardi says that changed in recent days, according to sources.

When asked publicly, the coach remains mum about his fate, as he avoided any response during his latest appearance on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Tuesday. But within Gillette Stadium, Giardi claims Belichick has "expressed doubt about his future in New England to the staff at various points over the last few weeks."

If there's any legitimacy to this, it would be the first time he has allegedly commented on the possibility of him being fired (or retiring) since the whispering began. Many have already decided what they think is best for the team and Belichick, with most concluding that he should move on.

But if that is the decision by the Krafts, Giardi believes he and the team should know before Week 18 to treat the game as sort of a send-off and thank you for all he's done for the Patriots.

"If he won’t survive, I think this is a massive misstep by (Robert and Jonathan Kraft). They could turn the final week against the Jets into a celebration of all Bill’s accomplishments here and guarantee a full house for a meaningless game. Instead, by dragging it out, they risk turning and burning Belichick on Black Monday. That doesn’t feel right to me."

Although that seems like the most respectable path to take, it's also asking a lot of the Krafts to make a decision in a short amount of time. It has been said they had made their minds up as long ago as the game in Germany, while other reports debunked that notion, stating nothing concrete has been decided regarding Belichick's future in New England.

If that is true, Giardi's suggestion would mean Kraft would need to make up his mind over the next week or so, which doesn't seem like a proper route to take when the head coach in question is one of Belichick's caliber.

It seems more like a decision that won't be made until the offseason has begun for the entire league, and it shouldn't be viewed as a poor way of handling the situation by those who feel it should be made sooner than that.

Belichick deserves to be celebrated if this is his last season, but he likely wouldn't want all the focus of the final game to be on him, and it wouldn't be a good look if Kraft rushed to make such a significant decision just to appease those who want to see him gone anyway.

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