It’s no longer outlandish to think the Patriots will move on from Bill Belichick this NFL offseason.

In fact, with New England’s season spiraling down the drain, Belichick’s departure almost feels inevitable.

It’s been a heck of a run for arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history, with Belichick bringing six Super Bowl titles to New England — a franchise that hadn’t tasted championship glory prior to him taking over in 2000 — and establishing a culture that many other organizations tried (and failed) to replicate for the better part of two decades.

But you know the expression: All good things must come to an end. And the Patriots sure look like a team in need of a fresh voice. It happens.

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Now, will it be awkward for Patriots owner Robert Kraft? Probably. We’re talking about a living legend, regardless of New England’s 2023 demise after three years of mediocrity immediately following Tom Brady’s 2020 departure.

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But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify Belichick keeping his job beyond the current campaign, unless his role is adjusted so that he’s no longer serving as both head coach and general manager. The Pats whiffed on too many personnel decisions in recent seasons, and it’s hurting them between the lines.

The Patriots probably won’t fire Belichick. Instead, they’ll tiptoe around the decision, playing the semantics game and presenting it as a “mutual parting of ways,” or something similar. Still, at its core, the move would be an ouster geared toward ushing in a new era of New England football. Thanks for the memories, BB.

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Perhaps, then, Belichick jumps into his boat and rides off into the sunset. He’s 71 years old. His legacy is cemented. He has nothing left to prove, unless you ask someone who’s suddenly unwilling to give Belichick his flowers due to New England’s recent regression and Brady’s post-Patriots success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Then again, the man loves football. Would it really be that crazy if he slammed the door on retirement and opted to coach elsewhere?

This was a talking point on the latest episode of “The Spread,” NESN’s football picks podcast, and there’s one clear takeaway: If Belichick wants another job, he’ll almost certainly find one.

As for where he’ll land, well, it obviously depends as much on each team’s situation as it does his desire to remain fully engrained in the gridiron grind. A few potential destinations stand out, though, for one reason or another. And the list could grow by the time a Super Bowl LVIII champion is crowned in February 2024.

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Here are some teams to consider if Belichick hits the open market.

Chicago Bears
The Matt Eberflus/Ryan Poles era remains in its infancy, relatively speaking, with the coach-GM tandem in just its second season in Chicago. But the results on the field have been dreadful. Adding an established leader like Belichick could prove enticing if the Bears make a change.

And why wouldn’t Belichick be interested? This is an historic franchise with existing talent, an abundance of salary cap space and draft capital that realistically could include the top two picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. The real question is whether the Bears would trust Belichick, at this stage of his career, to oversee the completion of their ongoing rebuild.

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Washington Commanders
Ron Rivera might be the first head coach fired this season, thus creating an opening. And what better way for Washington — a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since the 2005 season — to make a splash under its new ownership than to hire the most accomplished head coach in NFL history?

Belichick could fit well with the group, too, as the defense has underachieved relative to its talent level. Would Belichick, a noted football historian, be drawn to the idea of restoring a once-proud franchise to the heights it achieved in the 1980s and early 1990s?

Dallas Cowboys
Mike McCarthy, now in his fourth season with Dallas, is under heavy pressure to bring the Cowboys to the promised land. If he fails, expect owner Jerry Jones to make a change, potentially paving the way for a Belichick union that probably wouldn’t sit well with Robert Kraft.

All of the pieces are in place for Dallas to be great. Most notably, the Cowboys have a viable starting quarterback in Dak Prescott and a defense that oftentimes looks elite. It’s a win-now situation, perhaps best suited for someone like Belichick, who seemingly has a good relationship with Jones.

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Los Angeles Chargers
This is a wild card. The Chargers have been good, not great, in Brandon Staley’s three seasons as head coach. It’s entirely possible they stay the course beyond this season, hoping to build a sustained rapport between him and franchise quarterback Justin Herbert as LA looks to overcome the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. But what if things really go south in 2023?

The Chargers are another team with the talent to contend right now. Their problems mostly have been on the defensive side, which Belichick obviously is equipped to clean up. Would he consider changing coasts?

Featured image via Lon Horwedel/USA TODAY Sports Images