Belichick's Last Year in New England? 2021
In 2020, we had some fun at the New England Patriots' expense: Robert Kraft: Massage Parlor Connoisseur, but the gist of that article still remains the same. The Patriots won because of the vision of 3 a-holes, Robert Kraft, Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick.
Now Tom Brady is gone and 2 a-holes remain, 69 year old Bill Belichick and 80 year old Robert Kraft, guess who's the next a-hole to go?
Bill Belichick's regular season record with Tom Brady is 221-67. Belichick's regular season record without Tom Brady is now 54-63. Guess who ain't walkin' back through those stadium doors at Foxboro?
Belichick has firmly entrenched both his sons in the Patriot's coaching heirarchy. Do you really think that Robert Kraft wants to deal with another generation of Belichicks? Stephen and Brian are not going anywhere if they think they are the heir apparent to their Dad. At 80, Robert Kraft has HAD to have had internal discussions about leaving the Patriots to his 4 children after he dies.
You know who Robert Kraft thinks is going to be the face of the Patriots in 10 years? Not Stephen Belichick, but Patriot's President Jonathan Kraft. If you look up Jonathan Kraft's biography, it states 6 time Super Bowl Champion. I do not think of Kraft Jr. as an intricate piece of the Patriot's Dynasty, but I bet his Dad does. Doing research for this article, this was my favorite Jonathan Kraft quote (in hindsight):
"I think [Brady] has earned the right to have [retirement] be a decision he makes when he wants to make it." Jonathan Kraft (2018)
The subtext being retiring a Patriot. You want to say technically J Kraft was right? You think I'm tossing the word a-hole around too frequently?
"You pick up so much knowledge from all these brilliant minds. And I have to go to Detroit to be with the biggest f***ing a**hole in my life — my head coach (Belichick)." Robert Kraft (2018)
"(Belichick is) an Idiot Savant." Robert Kraft (2018)
Unless Bill Belichick goes to the playoffs this year, his tenure at New England is over. In Capitalist America, no one is ever bigger than the guy writing the checks.
You think maybe Robert Kraft wants to win without Belichick just like Belichick wanted to win without Brady?
If Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay and went 6-10, we might not even be having this conversation. But Brady won a Lombardy Trophy without Kraft and Belichick. Number of Lombardy Trophys for Belichick and Kraft without Brady? Zero. In a big boy league, numbers like those matter.
In a business of huge egos, in Kraft's mind, if he hires the next big coach and wins a Super Bowl, maybe it was him and Brady that carried Belichick. I'm not saying that's what happened, I am saying that all 3 a-holes have an inflated perspective of their contributions to all those Super Bowl Championships.
But back to Robert Kraft specifically:
Would Kraft trade a first round draft pick to New Orleans for Sean Payton? I bet he would.
Would Kraft promote Josh McDaniels if he thought McDaniels might bolt to the New York Giants? I bet he might.
Would Kraft hire Brian Daboll away from the division rival Buffalo Bills? I bet he would consider it.
Would Kraft want the hottest candidate in college football, Lincoln Riley? I bet if Riley said he'd only leave college for New England, Kraft would have to, at the very least, consider giving Belichick the old heave ho.
Bill Belichick is now the eighth oldest coach, not in the NFL today, but the 8th oldest NFL coach of all time. If you think Robert Kraft is going to let Belichick coach 10 more years until he's days away from 80, you are delusional.
Let's just say the Patriots go 8-8 this season. Right now they're 2-3, so an 8-8 record with a rookie QB is a feasible projection. The last time the New England Patriots went .500 in back to back seasons was back in 1998-1999 when they went 9-7 and 8-8. What did Robert Kraft do after 1999? He fired his coach, Pete Carroll, for a hot coordinator who had a losing record in the NFL (at that point) named Bill Belichick.
Do you think that after seasons of 7-9 and 8-8 that Kraft still thinks Belichick's best days are in FRONT of him?
Coach Belichick thinks he's caught lightning in a bottle, again, in the form of Mac Jones. If you go by history, Jones has a much better chance of being the next Freddie Kitchens than the next Bart Starr.
Now Belichick could still pull it out of the fire and end up with a winning record at the end of the season, but after seeing the Patriots struggle against the lowly Texans, I think Belichick needs to go, at least, 11-5 and secure a wild card spot, in order to keep his job.
I'm not saying it's right or it should happen. I am saying that Bill Belichick will be terminated if he goes 8-8 this year.