Will he or won't he? That has become the question surrounding Robert Kraft's impending decision about the future of Bill Belichick in New England. Speculation has suggested the Patriots' owner has already made up his mind to fire the longtime coach and did so weeks ago, while other rumors claim that's not exactly the case.
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
That's what Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard reported on Tuesday during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub. When discussing how Kraft may be handling the delicate situation given the longtime partnership with Belichick, Bedard stated he has spoken to people in recent days who say he is "conflicted" about what to do, with some feeling Kraft wants to move on but uncertain he would actually go through with it when the time comes.
"I don’t think winning two of the last three against teams going nowhere — to me, that doesn’t change what’s fundamentally wrong with the football program of the Patriots. However, I will say that, making calls the last day or so and talking to people … I think Robert is making calls and talking to people that know of the Patriots’ football program. … I did talk to one person who said that they think that Robert is quote-unquote conflicted at this point. And I think that, all things being equal … I do think that the Krafts had settled on, ‘We need to move on after this season.’ I do think there’s a difference between making that decision and Robert actually going through with it. Actually sitting down with Bill and saying, ‘I think it’s time for us to go different ways.’ … I do think that it’s gonna be hard for Robert to ultimately pull the trigger.
"I think Robert Kraft is conflicted about what to do about Bill Belichick. And, at this point, I don’t rule anything out."
It's unsurprising to hear that a decision hasn't been made despite other rumors suggesting otherwise, mainly because the duo have been linked for over twenty years. In today's NFL, that's unheard of, as head coaches are like a revolving door for most other teams in the league.
Not only have they worked together for a long time, but Belichick has accomplished a lot for the franchise, most notably helping to bring six Super Bowl Championships to New England.
We knew whenever Tom Brady left the Patriots, which we hoped would be years after he actually did, it wasn't going to be an easy trek for Belichick to keep the team anywhere near as dominant as they had been. Because how could he? Losing the greatest quarterback ever to play the game couldn't be easily replaced or duplicated.
But this is now the fourth season without Brady, and the team has not looked much better than in his final season in 2019. If anything, it's gotten worse. Because of that, it falls on Belichick's shoulders, as he is the head coach and general manager, so everything regarding the team is up to him and him only.
Bad draft classes, improper roster building, poor coaching, questionable personnel hires, etc., are all negative aspects of Belichick's career over the last four years, prompting the inevitable decision Kraft will have to make at the end of the season.
Despite all the flaws, it's not an easy decision, and it shouldn't be.