One thing that’s clear based on Seth Wickersham’s ESPN piece detailing a supposed rift between New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady: The end could be near for the trio in New England, one way or another.
How everything will end is anyone’s guess, as Kraft, Belichick and Brady already released a joint statement Friday downplaying the ESPN report. But the drama surrounding Brady’s trainer/business partner, Alex Guerrero, and the Patriots trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has led to speculation over whether Belichick might consider coaching elsewhere, perhaps as soon as next season.
For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Adam Schefter finds that scenario hard to imagine, although he’s not willing to completely rule out anything amid the reported power struggle.
?I think in this league anything is always possible,” Schefter said Friday on WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan” of Belichick’s future. “I think it is hard to envision life in New England without Bill Belichick as the head coach there. Yeah, that is hard to imagine. When you read this and the great work that Seth did, you come away with the idea that anything is possible. Anything is possible.
“My guess would be that he?s back. I would guess that he?s back. He?s a football coach. He is a coach and he loves that.”
Maybe Belichick will retire, maybe he’ll go somewhere else or maybe he’ll return to New England alongside Kraft and Brady, continuing what has been an incredibly successful run for the organization. No matter what, it sounds like the Patriots will have some things to iron out this offseason, even if they win their sixth Super Bowl title of the Kraft-Belichick-Brady era.
?The biggest thing is just this,” Schefter said. “New England has had so much sustained success for so long and we are in a position here where Tom Brady is 40 years old, both coordinators (Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia) look like they are going to get head-coaching jobs, Jimmy Garoppolo has been traded, Tom Brady is somewhere near the end of the line — whether that is a year, two or three, we don?t know — and we have no idea how much longer Bill will or won?t coach.
“The biggest thing is the greatness, the sustained run, the excellence, the Golden Era of any NFL franchise, it is coming to an end at some point here. That is the biggest thing that I take.”
You can bet teams across the NFL are salivating at the possibility of the Patriots’ three-headed monster breaking up and Belichick potentially becoming available, even if it seems like a long shot.