Desperate NFL teams could trade for Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick

The Bill Belichick era in New England might be coming to an end.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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With Bill Belichick likely not returning to the New England Patriots in 2023, other desperate NFL teams could trade for the future Hall of Fame coach. Well-connected Patriots insider Tom Curran has essentially said that the team is preparing to move on from Belichick at season's end:

""When they came out of Germany, conversations I had that week made it very clear that a decision was made," Curran said Monday on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition, as seen in the video above. "They were going to play out the string, and at the end of the year there would be a parting of the ways, for a variety of reasons."

"You don't fire Bill Belichick during the season. It's just not gonna happen," Curran said. "Additionally, though, he's an asset. He's under contract for another year, which we reported after NFL Media reported there was a long-term extension in place that would keep Bill locked up long-term. It's only through next year, so that would not be an impediment to them changing course, and it had gone too far.

"The Germany game, the Commanders game, the Saints game: all huge marquee games, and then there was the Chargers game after that. Just because they won last week in Pittsburgh in prime time, I don't think it quells anything.""

Tom Curran

Curran seems to think that BB is gone, and that could cause other teams who will need to fill head coaching vacancies to come calling, since he is under contract through 2024, so Belichick is not a "free agent" if you will. And I think for this eventual divorce, Robert Kraft is going to try to make it the softest landing possible for Belichick.

Right now, the Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders are two teams that will need a new head coach in 2024. Other teams like the Washington Commanders, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, and Los Angeles Chargers could all have openings. For Belichick, I think the most obvious destination would be the Chargers when Brandon Staley is eventually fired.

Belichick would not have to search for a QB with Justin Hebert in the mix, and he could surely get the defense back on track given he's a defensive genius. The Washington Commanders may also make a ton of sense, especially with their new ownership in place. The new owners likely want to make their presence felt, so I think pursing a trade for Belichick makes sense in that regard.

I personally think that Belichick is not an elite head coach anymore, and his failure to adapt to the modern-day NFL is a big reason for that. However, teams will cling onto his past and justify trading for him if the opportunity arises.