One of the biggest stories of the NFL offseason will be the future of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, in New England or elsewhere.
Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano of ESPN he suggested his time with the Patriots could come to an end earlier this week (3-10).
“From what I see, there is a strong possibility that someone other than Belichick will be coaching the Patriots in 2024,” Graziano wrote.
Both warn of a strong market for the 71-year-old Belichick, likely due to his age. Here are five teams that may have open spots this offseason, ranked in order of potential for future Hall of Fame consideration. (Coach's record with current team in parentheses.)
5. New Orleans Saints | Current head coach: Dennis Allen (13-17)
It wouldn't be the first time that New Orleans, perennially in win-now mode, cashed in on a former Super Bowl-winning coach. In 1997The Saints lured former Bears head coach Mike Ditka from an intimate studio analyst gig for a disastrous three-year run that ended with the Hall of Famer going 15-33.
The Saints may think they're just a head coach with a winning record away from returning to the playoffs. But it's hard to imagine Belichick and general manager Mickey Loomis coexisting, so adding the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach could cause too much of a shakeup in the Big Easy.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Current head coach: Todd Bowles (14-16)
Belichick wouldn't be the first person to spend his golden years in Florida. If he ended up in Tampa, he would also follow the path of quarterback Tom Brady.
The Bucks, like the Saints, have veterans playing at a high level, making the team unlikely to break down. General manager Jason Licht has served in this role since 2014, but apart from the team's work with Brady from 2020 to 2022, he has no record of success. Going “Belichick Way” wouldn't shake up the status quo in Tampa as much as it would in New Orleans.
3. Las Vegas Invaders | Transitional period head coach: Antonio Pierce (2-3)
Could Brady and Belichick team up in Las Vegas? Brady's deal to take ownership of the Raiders has been delayed, but if this succeeds, it will be possible to reunite the two. Las Vegas has added many former Patriots over the years. While the Josh McDaniels era ended in disaster, that shouldn't deter the Raiders from rolling the dice on Belichick if the opportunity arises.
2. Washington Commanders | Current head coach: Ron Rivera (26-36-1)
Fowler and Graziano note that under the new leadership of Josh Harris, the brass could undergo significant changes in the front office during the offseason. What greater success could Harris create than acquiring the greatest head coach in NFL history?
1. Los Angeles Chargers | Current head coach: Brandon Staley (24-23)
This is the most attractive job of all potential positions. The Chargers are loaded with talent but have underperformed under Staley, which Fowler and Graziano believe could lead to his firing after the season. Belichick's dour personality may not be a natural fit in sunny Southern California, but if there's one team he could go to and have no problem winning, it's the Chargers.