NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Thursday that Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have mutually agreed to part ways after 24 seasons.
In his 24 seasons at Foxboro, Belichick led the most decorated dynasty in NFL history. Under his leadership, the Patriots won six Super Bowls with nine Super Bowl appearances, tied for the most by a single franchise in NFL history. Belichick has made more Super Bowl appearances as a head coach than every franchise except the Patriots. (11).
The Patriots announced Thursday that owners Robert Kraft and Belichick will address the media at noon ET. The news conference will be broadcast live on NFL+ and NFL Network.
In two dozen campaigns, New England compiled a 266-120 regular-season record and won 17 AFC East titles, including 11 straight from 2009–2019, the longest streak in NFL history. 17 division titles are the most by any head coach with a single club, five better than the next closest, Tom Landry (12).
The 71-year-old coach amassed a total of 296 wins with the Patriots, including the playoffs, the second-most by any head coach with a single franchise in NFL history behind George Halas. (324).
Belichick is one of seven head coaches to spend 20-plus seasons with the same team, joining George Halas (40), Curly Lambeau (29), Tom Landry (29), Don Shula (26), Steven Owen (24), and Chuck Noll (23).
The Patriots inside linebackers coach Jarrod Mayo, who has been viewed as a potential Belichick successor for years, is seen as the top in-house candidate for New England, reports Rapoport. According to Rapoport, for Belichick, the vacant head coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons could be an option.
The Patriots had unprecedented postseason success under Belichick, going 30-12 in 19 playoff appearances. The 30 postseason wins are more than any coach in NFL history. The six Super Bowl victories are the most by any head coach in NFL history.
Considered one of the greatest coaches of the modern era, Belichick’s receiving only three NFL Coach of the Year awards underscores a talent that is often taken for granted. Other franchises cycled through the peaks and valleys at suitable rates. The Patriots remained one of the most respected franchises for more than two decades.
The man who brought The Patriot Way to the NFL—an approach that all the other co-opters have failed miserably at—great rigorous press conferences and workers like “No Days Off! Awesome left a lasting impression not only on New England but on the entire NFL during his reign.
Belichick’s tenure with the Patriots got off to an awkward start when he snubbed the New York Jets by writing his resignation on a napkin before an awkward press conference. Eventually, the Jets and Patriots engineered a trade for the first-round pick, and the Belichick era began in New England.
In his first season, the Patriots posted a 5-11 record in 2000. From there, the franchise skyrocketed to dynastic status.
In Year 2, Belichick made his most famous move, tying for second with second-year quarterback Tom Brady, who helped lead the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title. Belichick’s scheme against Marshall Faulk and “The Greatest Show on Turf” in Super Bowl XXXVI went down as one of the most efficient defensive schemes in NFL history.
The Patriots were the last team to win the Lombardi Trophy in back-to-back seasons in 2003 and 2004, thanks to a stifling Belichick defense and Brady’s heroics.
The Patriots transformed several times from defensive-focused in the early years under Belichick’s regime to an explosive offense in the Brady-Randy Moss season, winning three consecutive AFC championships (2016–2018) with the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. The only season New England didn’t make the postseason from 2003 to 2019 was 2008, when Brady suffered a knee injury in Week 1. The Patriots still won 11 games that season, with Matt Cassel at the helm.
From Spygate to Deflate Gate, the Patriots followed the play on and off the field during their decades of dominance. Despite all this, the Pats won.
Through all the dips and dives of the Belichick era, playoff theater reigned. Highlights included the first upset run to the title, back-to-back Lombardis, a 16-0 regular season record that ended in a Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants, the second Big Blue loss, dramatic championship wins over the Seahawks and Falcons, and the defensive mastery of offensive savant Sean McVay in Super Bowl LIII.
Even after Brady left for Tampa Bay in 2020, Belichick helped lead the Patriots back to the postseason in 2021 with rookie Max Jones.
However, things went downhill for the coach and de facto general manager in the last two years. Years of questionable drafts and coaching decisions made the Pats vulnerable. Jones’ fight, the No. 15 overall pick in 2021, countered a talent-poor offense, and a solid defense couldn’t compensate.
Belichick’s final season, a 4-13 campaign, marked the worst season in the coach’s career—in New England or Cleveland. Prior to 2023, the Patriots hadn’t lost 12-plus games in a season since 1992 (2-14 that season before they hired Bill Parcells, Belichick’s mentor HOF, as head coach in 1993).
New England struggled in every aspect in 2023, ranking in the bottom five in points per game (13.9, tied for last in the NFL) and turnover differential. (-11). The Pats D allowed 21.5 points per game, the third-worst in the Belichick era.
The Patriots’ season ended with a 17-3 loss at home to the Jets on Jan. 7, and a day later, Belichick told reporters it was too early to discuss his future and that he was “still under contract.” Three days later, the most talked-about story in the NFL comes to a conclusion.
With most divorces, the ending wasn’t pretty, but the height of the Belichick era reached the top of the mountain and lasted far longer than any franchise in NFL history.
History will remember the eloquent minute dissertations about Super Bowls, Hall of Fame players, championship parades, grumpy pressers, and long snapping. History will remember the Belichick era in New England as a dynasty for ages. A dynasty with which all other dynasties will be compared.
Published by : Reshraman