New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Nov 9, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (right) looks on behind head coach Bill Belichick before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s widely believed in the football world that Bill Belichick will no longer be the New England Patriots’ head coach after the 2023 season. But there could still be a way that Belichick stays.

That doesn’t mean it’s an easy road to travel. But a new report by Mark Daniels at MassLive suggests that Belichick could remain Patriots head coach if he makes certain concessions. Daniels’ sources say Belichick would have to “cede some control” in order to keep his job, mainly to give up control of the front office and let Robert Kraft hire someone else to pick the players.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 17: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Head Coach Bill Belichick look on from the sideline before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – DECEMBER 17: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Head Coach Bill Belichick look on from the sideline before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

But here’s the part that may raise some eyebrows. If Belichick wants to stay, he may have to … bend the knee?

In the event he returns, the theory inside Gillette Stadium is that Belichick would also have to admit the mistakes he made and accept responsibility for the team’s failures. … If Belichick admits his wrongs, sets out a path to correct them, and offers to help usher in a new era following his retirement, that could lead Kraft to bring the six-time Super Bowl champion coach back.

  • Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (left) hugs head coach Bill Belichick(right) after the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (left) hugs head coach Bill Belichick(right) after the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    It seems absurd that a coach/GM that made as many mistakes as Belichick has over the past four seasons – and you can go beyond that if you want, to count the mistakes that ultimately drove Tom Brady out the door – could simply admit he screwed up and get to keep his job.

    But then again, this isn’t just any coach. Belichick is the most accomplished head coach in NFL history. Even if he is ultimately let go, it certainly shouldn’t be in unceremonious fashion. And he’s earned more latitude than most coaches ever would to simply explain himself.

  • Feb 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (left) and head coach Bill Belichick prior to Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (left) and head coach Bill Belichick prior to Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    The MassLive report also breaks down the expected end-of-season meeting between Belichick and Kraft. A source told Daniels that the meeting “probably won’t be quick.” It likely won’t be just Monday, either, as it could last 2-3 days with a conclusion on Wednesday or Thursday.

    None of that is particularly earth-shattering, since the pair meet often and always have an extended meeting after the end of the season. But what’s different about this one is that, as Daniels described it, the meeting “could result in sweeping changes within the franchise.”

  • That is, unless, Belichick admits his mistakes and gives up front office control. Doesn’t feel likely, but it sounds like the offer is on the table.

    Get complete New England Patriots coverage at 985TheSportsHub.com.

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Check out all of Matt’s content.

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