The Patriots in recent years have dealt with an exodus of brain power, which only will get worse if offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels leaves New England to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bill Belichick, of course, remains the one constant in Foxboro, serving as head coach and general manager for a franchise that’s made nine Super Bowl appearances and won six titles dating back to the 2001 season.
But what if Belichick were to leave the Patriots?
It sounds crazy, sure, but Colin Cowherd raised the question Tuesday on FS1 while wondering whether Belichick would welcome the opportunity to get back at Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“What if Belichick waited about two more weeks for all the top candidates to be gone and announced his retirement from the Patriots?,” Cowherd asked. ” ‘Colin, he would screw over Robert Kraft.’ Yes. Let’s go back to Belichick as a grudge holder. Who forced him to trade Jimmy Garoppolo? If he is not forced to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, then the Patriots don’t embarrass themselves this year, then Belichick doesn’t continually get mocked this year.
“Don’t think Belichick wanted to win this divorce (with Tom Brady)? Oh, it hurts. Folks, you don’t think he has an ego? You don’t think (Nick) Saban has an ego? You don’t think (Gregg) Popovich has an ego?”
There’s really nothing to suggest Belichick has a bad relationship with Kraft, even if the latter stepped in to ensure the Patriots didn’t trade Brady in favor of keeping Garoppolo, as has been speculated.
So, Cowherd’s hypothetical probably isn’t worth considering too much, although it’d admittedly be a fascinating development with Brady thriving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback and the Patriots coming off an underwhelming 2020 season in which they went 7-9 with Cam Newton under center.
“Brady has not only won this divorce. It makes Belichick look stupid,” Cowherd said. “(Belichick) can’t draft receivers. He couldn’t figure out Tom. Just throwing it out there.”
If McDaniels indeed leaves the Patriots, he’ll join Joe Judge, Brian Flores and a host of other coaches, coordinators and front office members who’ve left New England in recent years. At what point does the brain drain become too much to overcome? It’s especially troublesome now that Brady is playing elsewhere.
“I’m not saying this is gonna happen. I’m not making a prediction here. This isn’t even a theory,” Cowherd said of the possibility Belichick walks away from the Patriots. “But let’s just say he left in two weeks. New England would be the worst football team in the NFL — no quarterback, no playmakers, bad roster, all the brain power gone, Belichick out.”
Well, if nothing else, a season in the NFL’s basement might help the Patriots find their next franchise quarterback.