Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Weekdays 2pm-6pm

Could we see a Bill Belichick retirement at the end of the season? New information from NFL reporters seem to indicate that a longtime NFL head coach could be close to hanging it up. Josina Anderson hinted at on Nov. 15th, when she tweeted the following. “There’s talk behind-the-scenes as to whether any one of 3 of the NFL’s longest tenured head coaches will step down after this season or next as these lists get compiled in preparation for vacancies. We’ll see.” The 3 longest tenured head coaches in the NFL are Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, and John Harbaugh.

We’re at the point that it wouldn’t be the most shocking development if Belichick called it a career after 2022. Now that he’s 70 years old and has long been on the record saying: “I won’t be like Marv Levy and coaching in my 70s, I know that.” But Belichick tried to correct the record in a recent interview with Dan Shaughnessy in the Boston Globe. Which indicates he’s more open to the idea of coaching as a septuagenarian, now that he actually is one.

Dan Graziano of ESPN specifically mentioned Belichick in some (informed?) speculation of his own. Adding Pete Carroll to Belichick as coaches who “are at the age where people are going to keep one eye on those spots for potential openings when and if those guys decide to walk away.” Carroll is the fourth-longest tenured NFL head coach, as the leader of the Seahawks since 2010. It makes sense that we could see a Bill Belichick retirement in coming off seasons.

 

  • How Does Kraft Feel?

    But how does Robert Kraft feel about Belichick’s future in New England? Back in 2017, before Super Bowl LI, Kraft told Mark Maske of the Washington Post that Belichick can coach the Patriots “as long as he wants.” Added Kraft: “We have a pact that we don’t talk about that. He knows and I know. But he won’t be done [after 2016].”

  • Just Average Since Brady Left

    Since that comment, Belichick has won two Super Bowls and appeared in another – with Tom Brady as his quarterback. Since Brady’s departure in 2020, the Patriots are 23-21 in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs, with a mix of Cam Newton, Mac Jones, Brian Hoyer, and Bailey Zappe under center. Kraft specifically mentioned the Patriots’ playoff drought (no playoff wins since 2018) as a disappointment in an off-season press conference before 2022.

  • Belichick is 70

    If only because of Belichick’s age, he makes the most sense as the longtime coach who will walk away within the next 2-3 years. However, it also makes sense for Belichick to get one more off-season in 2023 to see if he can complete his rebuild. Mac Jones will be up for an extension after his third year begins, and the Patriots are projected to have among the most salary cap space in the league to go spend and fill needs.

  • Succession

    The Belichick succession plan may not be imminent – well, depending on your line of demarcation. There may still be a couple more years before the decision even presents itself. But it’s only going to become a more relevant topic as Belichick’s tenure as a 70-something head coach goes on.

  • espn page break