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Voice of the 'Fan

The Belichick era is over in New England. Don't think he's moving on just yet

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Bill Belichick needs 15 wins to pass the late Don Shula to become the winningest coach in NFL history. It's not going to happen in New England.

The Patriots parted ways with Belichick, with the official announcement made on January 12. Almost immediately, Belichick, proud owner of 8 Super Bowl rings, including 2 as an assistant with the Bill Parcells-era Giants, doesn't need to make a decision right away, and why should he? After 40+ years of coaching, he's earned the right to take his time to make his decision.

Recent headlines have him linked to Atlanta and Dallas. Even though he's reportedly had a good relationship with Cowboys owner/GM/president Jerry Jones, I don't think Belichick will want to just coach the Cowboys, and supplant Mike McCarthy after 4 snake-bitten seasons. Accustomed as he was to being coach & GM with the Patriots, I'd think Belichick would want the GM's job, just to show Jones, who thinks he knows everything about the game, how to make the best use of the talent he has. He'd almost certainly be given the coach & GM jobs in Atlanta or anywhere else, although going to Carolina and its mercurial owner, David Tepper, who's already shown he has the patience of a piece of onionskin paper, is also unlikely.

It was believed that Belichick wanted to prove he could win without Tom Brady. After 3 playoff-less seasons, it was clear that he didn't have the talent to prove his point. Mac Jones regressed faster than expected, and the balance of power had shifted in the AFC East from New England to Buffalo the last few years. Finishing in last place convinced Robert Kraft it was time to say good-bye to Belichick.

It's not the way Belichick wanted his career in New England to end.

Prediction: I think "Darth Hoodie" takes a year or two off to evaluate the NFL landscape, then, if he has the itch to coach again, he'll find a comfortable landing spot. Either that, or he'll settle for Canton and the Hall of Fame.


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