Recent comments from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has the football world wondering if the most accomplished head coach in NFL history is on the hot seat.
For the longest time, it always felt like Bill Belichick would only leave the Patriots once he decided it was time. Such is life when you led to a perennially losing franchise to six Super Bowl championships in an 18-year span.
Speaking to reporters at Monday’s NFL owners meetings, Kraft indicated that Belichick may be on the hot seat entering 2023, via Ben Volin of The Boston Globe:
“Look, I’d like him to break Don Shula’s record, but I’m not looking for any of our players to get great stats. We’re about winning and doing whatever we can to win. That’s what our focus is…In the end, this is a business. You either execute and win, or you don’t. That’s where we’re at.”
That’s not all. Volin said that two of Belichick’s confidants “independently expressed concern Kraft could fire Belichick after the 2023 season” and that they’re” worried their mentor might not get to go out on his own terms.”
Belichick and the Patriots have long kept details about his contract (salary and term) confidential. But Kraft’s comments certainly indicate that he wouldn’t hesitate to fire Belichick, regardless of the latter’s contract status.
Speculation about rift between Kraft and Belichick has ramped up over the last five years. In 2018, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham published a story that discussed reported tension between Kraft, Belichick and then-quarterback Tom Brady.
The report stated the rift began to develop when Brady learned that Belichick had wanted to cut ties and move forward with Jimmy Garoppolo. According to the report from Wickersham, Kraft made Belichick keep Brady and deal away Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers ahead of the 2017 NFL trade deadline.
Belichick turns 71 years of age in April. The three-time Coach of the Year hasn’t given any potential retirement timeline, so if Kraft were to fire him, you can bet that a plethora of teams would move quickly to try and land the future Hall of Famer.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.