New England Patriots

Given their options, and the pricey nature of using the tag, it’s hard to picture the Patriots franchise tagging any of their pending free agents this year. That being said, it seems like Belichick tends to use the franchise tag when it’s least expected (like he did in 2020). If he does, it’s highly likely it will be on one of the three players above.

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

An offseason of free agent departures has somehow made Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the betting favorite for the 2020 NFL Coach of the Year Award, according to multiple sportsbooks.

Now, the odds on Belichick winning the award vary from book to book (some have him at +650 while others have put him at +1000), but he’s emerged as the overwhelming favorite in almost every book so far, meaning that the oddsmakers are thinking that Belichick will indeed remain Belichick even with the departure of Tom Brady.

In defense of the sportsbooks, the Patriots enter the 2020 season with 11 straight AFC East titles to their name, and that could extend to 12 if the reloaded Bills prove to be more hype than anything else. And Belichick, for what it’s worth, has a 13-6 record in Patriot games started by someone another than Tom Brady since the start of the 2008 NFL season; Matt Cassel’s 10-5 record in 2008 is responsible for a large chunk of that record, obviously, with Jimmy Garoppolo (2-0) and Jacoby Brissett (1-1) serving as the most recent examples during Brady’s four-game suspension back in 2016.

But with the Patriots facing a relatively daunting schedule — the Patriots will play both the AFC and NFC West in 2020, as well as the Ravens and Texans — the hopes of Belichick backers cashing in will have to come down to many of the Patriots’ young guns on offense and defensive additions making the difference that keeps New England in the postseason picture for the 12th straight season.

The Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy, San Fran’s Kyle Shanahan, and the Titans’ Mike Vrabel are some of the most common names directly behind Belichick in the sportsbooks. Jacksonville’s Doug Marrone, Houston’s Bill O’Brien, and the Lions’ Matt Patricia, meanwhile, have been at the bottom of almost every sportsbooks’ odds.

The 68-year-old Belichick has compiled a 237-83 record in his 20-year run with the Patriots, and has won the AP Coach of the Year Award three times during that run, with his latest honor coming during a 14-2 run with the Patriots in 2010.

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