The press conference surrounding the breakup between Bill Belichick and the Patriots was undoubtedly monumental, but it left a lot unanswered, as neither the coach nor Robert Kraft opened the floor for reporters to ask questions. That is said to be happening later when Kraft will address the media again, but there's a lot of speculation continuing for now.
One of the main questions, of course, is why? Why is this happening, and what was the reason for the decision to move on?
Surely, the obvious answer is the Patriots lack of success since Tom Brady left the team in 2020, which came to a head this season ending the year with a 4-13 record. Typically, that would be grounds for any head coach to be removed from their position, but this is Belichick we're talking about. He's unlike any other in the league, so a firing/amicable split didn't feel like a genuine possibility.
Now that it is a reality, an explanation for the decision will provide the much-needed context for those not understanding why it had to come to this. Until we hear from Kraft, and depending on whether he actually answers questions, NFL insider Ian Rapoport provided some details regarding the meeting between Belichick and Kraft and what he's heard about their decision to split up.
Although it's not confirmed directly from the source, Rapoport's explanation makes a lot of sense. There were concerns about Belichick's willingness to be a part of a rebuild, something he never really had to do during his time with the Patriots.
Because it hadn't gone to plan over the last four seasons, it appeared as though he might not be fully invested in the idea of a teardown, even heading into an offseason with $73 million in cap space and the third overall pick in the draft.
It's also possible it was a similar scenario to that of Brady, who felt it was just "time" to move on after spending two decades together.
The partnership between Belichick and Kraft was unlike any other. It's incredibly rare to hear of a head coach remaining with one team for even half the time he spent in New England, nevermind for 24 years. So perhaps it was just something that was inevitable and this offseason felt like the best time to do it.