Patriots part ways with Bill Belichick


It is the end of an era in Foxborough. After 24 seasons as head coach, the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick have decided to part ways. This decision spearheaded by Robert Kraft and Belichick comes after the Patriots went 4-13 during the 2023 season, which found them in last place in the AFC East for the first time since Belichick's first season with the organization in 2000. New England also missed the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.

The 2023 campaign proved to be the final straw that broke what has been a historical run by the head coach that was primarily filled with unparalleled success, including all six of the franchise's Super Bowl titles. However, the post-Tom Brady era beginning in the 2020 season saw the franchise go into decline. Belichick's Patriots went 29-39 over that stretch and, as mentioned, missed the playoffs in three of those four seasons. 

The previous two campaigns were particularly damning for Belichick. After making the postseason in 2021 after selecting Mac Jones in the first round that prior offseason, New England's rebuild looked to be on the upswing. Controversial decisions since then -- allowing Matt Patricia and Joe Judge to run the offense in 2022, and not adding starting-caliber offensive tackles during the 2023 offseason -- sent the team, specifically the offense, backward and Jones' development went off the rails. Jones was benched multiple times throughout the 2023 season and second-year quarterback Bailey Zappe finished out the year as the team's starter. 

The 13 losses are the most of Belichick's career and the most by the franchise in a single season since 1992. By midseason, as it was clear it was a lost season for the Patriots, speculation ran rampant regarding Belichick's future. While never divulging in that conversation with the media, the head coach reportedly did express doubt about his future with the organization with members of his staff towards the end of the season. And that has now come to fruition. 

While the final chapter of Belichick's tenure with the Patriots does end on a rather sour note, it was arguably the greatest run by a head coach with an organization in NFL history. Belichick established himself as, by most measures, the greatest head coach in the history of the sport, winning more Super Bowls (six) than any other head coach in league history. His nine Super Bowl appearances as a head coach, 31 playoff wins, and 17 division championships are also head coaching records. Belichick's 266 regular season wins are by far the most in Patriots history, as are his 31 playoff wins. Belichick's 333 career wins (including playoffs) is second all-time and only trails Hall of Fame coach Don Shula (347). 

With this historic marriage between the Patriots and Belichick now over, the next set of questions will center around the head coach's next stop in the NFL and who New England ultimately decides to bring in to replace the franchise icon.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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