A Patriots Super Bowl champion has an idea of why Bill Belichick’s leash in New England is so long.

Yes, Belichick has earned a high level of tolerance after playing an integral role on six Super Bowl-winning teams in Foxboro, Mass. But after a pair of sub.-500 seasons following Tom Brady’s exit and a disastrous 2023 campaign in the making, an evaluation of Belichick’s position in New England is warranted.

But why hasn’t Belichick been put under the microscope? Asante Samuel, an outspoken hater of his former head coach, offered a potential reason Monday in a TMZ interview.

“It seems like Mr. (Robert) Kraft is scared of Coach Belichick,” Samuel said. “He has all the power, all the glory but you’re the one that can step in and take this away but you’re not doing it. You’re letting the whole Patriots legacy just continue to die and look like it belongs to one man. I wonder if that is true — if Belichick has something over him because I don’t know why this is lasting so long and everyone still believes in Belichick.”

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If the Patriots finish the season as one of the NFL’s worst teams, Kraft might need to have a difficult conversation with Belichick. Stephen A. Smith, for one, believes New England’s owner should strip Belichick of his general manager duties and show him the door if he doesn’t accept the diminished role.

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Belichick will try to cool the temperature on his seat by “starting over” with the Patriots after their 1-4 start to the season. But if those changes don’t yield positive results, the cries for a new regime in New England only will grow louder.

Featured image via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images