Bill Belichick’s job security may not be in as much peril as previously thought.
Speaking on NFL GameDay ahead of Sunday’s showdown between the Patriots and Bills, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Bill Belichick and New England came to terms on a long-term extension before the 2023 season even got underway.
“Allow me to add some news,” Rapoport reported. “Sources say Bill Belichick, during the offseason, quietly agreed to terms on a lucrative, multi-year new contract. His contract, one of the most closely held secrets in New England. That said, I think it’s fair to say there was some, at least, uncertainty or intrigue surrounding him.
“Now, contractually, he is locked up long-term. … This at least adds some context with the Patriots committing to the greatest coach in history long-term.”
Rapoport’s report comes amid a firestorm directed toward Belichick and his role in New England’s woeful 1-5 start to the 2023 campaign. Multiple ex-Patriots and media personalities have harped on Belichick’s recent failings with roster construction, with Tedy Bruschi noting last week that the legendary head coach should retire at the end of this season.
With this reported contract in place, it doesn’t seem like Belichick has any interest in walking away from the sidelines in Foxborough. Of course, any long-term deal — with terms undisclosed — doesn’t mean that Belichick has impunity if Robert Kraft and New England’s ownership wants to make a move.
Still, any lengthy extension could mean a steeper payout from Kraft and the team if New England ultimately does opt to part ways with Belichick before his new deal expires.
Rapoport added in his report that Kraft “would not be inclined to make a change midseason,” even with New England’s schedule not getting any easier ahead of matchups against the Bills and Dolphins.
Even if Belichick does stick around beyond this current season, changes seem inevitable at Gillette Stadium — be it on the roster or even within the team’s football operations department.
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