Invoice Belichick will now not function New England Patriots coach after a exceptional 24 seasons, saying Thursday that “we’ll transfer on” whereas additionally wanting again fondly at his unmatched run in NFL historical past that included six Tremendous Bowl titles.
Belichick and Patriots proprietor Robert Kraft spent a very good a part of this week periodically assembly and discussing how all sides needed to proceed. From sources aware of these conversations, there was mentioned to be no battle, no disagreement, and in the long run, productive talks resulted in a mutual determination that left either side comfy and comfy.
Throughout a information convention Thursday, Kraft referred to as Belichick the best coach of all time who deserved to be a first-ballot Corridor of Famer.
“It is a transfer that we mutually agreed that’s wanted presently,” Kraft mentioned. “What Invoice completed, in my view, won’t ever be duplicated.”
Belichick, who mentioned he’ll “at all times be a Patriot,” thanked Kraft and his household for the chance and help, saying: “We had a imaginative and prescient of constructing a championship soccer crew that has exceeded my wildest goals and expectations. I am very pleased with that. I am going to at all times have these nice recollections, will carry these with me the remainder of my life.”
Belichick, who had one yr remaining on his contract, shall be allowed to depart the crew with out the Patriots searching for compensation. He’ll need to proceed teaching and is anticipated to attract curiosity from at the least among the different seven NFL groups which have head-coaching vacancies, fairly probably the Atlanta Falcons, league sources mentioned.
“It will be tough to see him in a cutoff hoodie on the sideline, however I am going to at all times want him continued success, anticipate when it is in opposition to the beloved Patriots,” Kraft mentioned.
The Patriots now will embark on their first head-coaching search in 1 / 4 century. Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, whom the crew signed to a contract extension within the offseason and Kraft has recognized as a rising head-coaching candidate, tasks to be a, if not the, main candidate for the job, sources mentioned. Mayo performed for the Patriots from 2008 to 2014 and has been an assistant beneath Belichick since 2019.
Kraft mentioned in a second information convention Thursday that he selected to not attempt to commerce Belichick, saying he “did not suppose it was proper” to show the coach’s departure right into a transaction and evaluating the circumstances to Tom Brady leaving for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“We’re in search of somebody who can assist us get again to the playoffs and win,” Kraft mentioned.
Brady posted about Belichick’s departure on Instagram, calling him “the perfect coach within the historical past of the NFL.”
“We completed some superb issues over a protracted time frame, lots of which shall be onerous to duplicate,” Brady wrote. “He labored on daily basis to assist us obtain the final word aim, within the final crew sport. … I might by no means have been the participant I used to be with out you Coach Belichick. I’m ceaselessly grateful. And I want you the perfect of luck in no matter you select subsequent.”
Belichick’s exit from New England occurred lower than 24 hours after his shut pal Nick Saban retired from Alabama.
There’s a symmetry and a similarity within the departures of two soccer legends — males who’re extensively thought of the best coach in skilled historical past and the best coach in faculty soccer historical past. Belichick helped lead the Patriots to 9 Tremendous Bowl appearances and 6 Tremendous Bowl titles; Saban led Alabama to 9 SEC titles and 6 nationwide championships.
Moreover, Saban succeeded Pete Carroll because the Ohio State secondary coach in 1980; when Belichick was head coach in Cleveland, he labored with Saban from 1991 to 1994; and Belichick changed Carroll because the Patriots’ head coach in 2000, many years earlier than all three vacated their long-standing jobs this week in a 24-hour interval.
The truth that Belichick and Kraft are going their very own methods carries a component of disappointment, however not shock. Kraft had identified how essential it was for the Patriots to make the playoffs this season. As an alternative, they had been one of many first groups eradicated, on Dec. 10.
Hypothesis about Belichick’s future swirled throughout the 2023 season, with one of many lowest factors for the crew coming Nov. 12 in a 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt, Germany.
Earlier than that recreation, addressing this previous season, the 82-year-old Kraft informed NFL Community: “It is actually been disappointing. I had hoped issues could be loads higher, as I do know our fan base did. … This is not what we had been anticipating to occur this yr.”
One other key issue for Kraft was the franchise’s trajectory since Brady’s departure as a free agent after the 2019 season. Since shedding Brady, which pained Kraft, the Patriots have posted shedding information in three of their 4 seasons, and their final playoff win was a 13-3 overcome the Los Angeles Rams in Tremendous Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, 2019 — when Brady was on the crew.
Belichick, 71, leaves New England with 333 profession victories (together with playoffs), rating second all time behind Don Shula and his 347. Belichick, George Halas and Curly Lambeau are the one NFL coaches with six championships for the reason that league started postseason play in 1933.
Belichick’s 24-year tenure was the fifth-longest of any head coach with one crew. He had accomplished his forty ninth consecutive NFL season in 2023, essentially the most consecutive teaching seasons in league historical past.
He’s now seeking to spend season No. 50 with one other NFL franchise.
Kraft referred to as it an “emotional day” for the group whereas explaining why he believed it was the best determination.
“Our household is the custodian of this asset, the New England Patriots, and we all know how essential it’s to the psyche of the neighborhood,” Kraft mentioned. “What’s gone on right here the final three to 4 years is not what we would like, so we now have a accountability to do what we will to repair it to the perfect of our potential.”
As he departs New England, Belichick’s résumé contains these marks which can be anticipated to face for the foreseeable future:
• 17 division titles, essentially the most by a head coach in NFL historical past, with Shula, Andy Reid and Tom Landry tied for second with 13.
• 9 convention championships, essentially the most by a head coach within the Tremendous Bowl period.
• 12 Tremendous Bowl appearances (together with his time as an assistant).
• 21 profitable seasons as a head coach, which trails solely Halas (40), Shula (33), Lambeau (33) and Landry (29).
• One in all 4 undefeated and untied common seasons in NFL historical past (2007). It was the one one beneath the 16-game schedule performed from 1978 to 2020.
“Gamers win video games within the NFL,” Belichick mentioned. “I have been very, very lucky to educate among the biggest gamers to ever play the sport.”