For the first time since 1975, Bill Belichick is not a coach in the NFL, at least as things stand right now. The New England Patriots and Belichick, following more than two decades together.
Belichick’s final few years with New England did not match his typical success, making the playoffs just once in the post-Tom Brady Era. In his final season with the team, the Patriots finished 4-13 — the worst record in the AFC — and were plagued with offensive issues all year.
Despite a less-than-perfect last few seasons, the decorated head coach was expected to land elsewhere in the league. Belichick was rumored to be the favorite for the Atlanta Falcons job, but it ended up going to Raheem Morris (though Belichick was). Every head coach position has now been filled and Belichick remains without a team for the 2024 season.
Brady spent 20 years playing for Belichick, winning six Super Bowl titles with the head coach, as they experienced unprecedented success together. The GOAT saw first hand the leadership and football intelligence that Belichick brings to a team. The seven-time Super Bowl champion had high praise for his former coach, and believed Belichick would land elsewhere after his time with the Patriots came to an end.
“I don’t know the criteria for hiring coaches. I’ve never been a part of it,” Brady said on his “Let’s Go!” podcast. “I mean, I’m surprised that the greatest coach ever doesn’t have a job, absolutely. But I’m surprised [by] a lot of things in the NFL.”
Brady said when he left the Patriots, he experienced a similar situation, with some teams rejecting him.
“When I was a free agent, there [were] a lot of teams that didn’t want me,” the future Hall of Famer said.
Unlike Belichick, Brady did find a job after leaving New England, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and helping bring them a championship.
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Like Brady, many are confused why Belichick was not in higher demand for the openings in the league.
Belichick’s resume is certainly impressive, landing second all time in wins (including the playoff) with 33, behind Don Shula, who racked up 347 victories. Belichick is a three-time AP Coach of the Year and has two Super Bowl victories as an assistant coach. He holds records for most Super Bowl wins (8), most Super Bowl wins as a head coach (6), most Super Bowl appearances (12), most playoff wins as a head coach (31) and most divisional titles as a head coach (17).
Why Belichick, 71, did not land a head coaching gig is up for debate. Along with the report that he turned down a job, there was talk that teams don’t want someone who has just a few years left coaching, with a movement toward younger candidates, and some saying no team wants to
The final two head coaching jobs were filled last week: The Seattle Seahawks hired Mike Macdonald and the Washington Commanders hired Dan Quinn.
There is still a chance Belichick takes an assistant coach role, but as of now he will not be on a football field when next season rolls around.