The initial belief after Bill Belichick left the Patriots earlier this month was that the legendary head coach would not have any problems finding a new coaching home. Because of his resume and his availability for the first time in nearly a quarter-decade, the assumption was that almost all teams needing a new head coach would be knocking on his door to come to them.
It's not too often someone of his caliber is available to interview, so why would any team pass up on the opportunity? Rumors flew claiming that many had already expressed interest in speaking to Belichick, including teams who hadn't even fired their coach yet. But something has changed along the way.
What was once thought to be a case of a head coach having to decide what team he would want to go to has now become a story of whether Belichick will even find a job for the 2024 season. To date, he has only had serious conversations with the Atlanta Falcons and it appeared he was on the fast track to winning the job.
However, the NFC South team has continued to bring in candidates for interviews, and there has been no update regarding the status of hiring Belichick.
Given that they continue to bring in new people to speak to, with some having follow-up interviews, the future doesn't look too bright for the 8-time Super Bowl-winning coach. This is still a strange reality to accept, especially with not much context to explain why.
NFL insider Albert Breer recently gave his take on the matter, revealing the biggest concern from teams that still need a new head coach, which is now down to just the Commanders, Falcons, and Seahawks.
“I remember asking around in the fall about what the market would be for Belichick, and the answer, pretty uniformly, was that there would be a market for the greatest coach of all-time, even at 71 years old (he’ll be 72 in April). But a lot of those takes came with a caveat: Teams would love to have Belichick as a coach, but that the trouble could be if landing him required a lot more than that.
“Would another team hand him control over the roster after how the Patriots have sputtered post–Tom Brady? Would an ownership group pledge to hand the keys to the coach, and stay out of the way? These are the sorts of questions that could shift market conditions.”
Because it was well-known how much control Belichick had over the Patriots for the last two decades, it's understandable why that would be a growing concern for teams hoping to find just a new head coach. It appeared a concern for New England to move forward with him to finish his contract, leading to him suggesting he would be open to forfeiting his title as general manager. But it clearly didn't feel like a realistic scenario for Robert Kraft.
If that was a point of tension for the team he was with for 24 years; surely other teams would be hesitant to bring him in, as most still have a general manager and a staff they like.
It'll be interesting to see if it's something that will come back to haunt Belichick, especially if he doesn't land any more interviews with only three positions remaining vacant. It's wild to believe how that could even be a potential scenario, but it goes to show that respect isn't everything in the league when you gain a reputation beyond that.