If the New England Patriots were to move on from Bill Belichick, that decision likely would not come until the offseason.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft “is not inclined to fire Bill Belichick midseason,” according to a report Sunday from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

In explaining why, Rapoport mentioned both Belichick’s unparalleled resume and Kraft’s desire to receive compensation if Belichick chooses to coach elsewhere in 2024. The 71-year-old coach reportedly signed a new contract this past offseason that runs at least through this season and next.

“There’s a lot of reasons why it makes no sense to fire Bill Belichick midseason,” Rapoport said on NFL Network. “First of all, it’s the greatest coach of all time. Sometimes, these guys are treated differently. The other part of this is just functionally, if Belichick is going to somehow, some way coach elsewhere next season, the Patriots have him under contract. They would at least want some sort of compensation to make this happen.

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“But if you’re going to fire him, what does that actually do? Does it give you a jump on the process when you may have his successor already in the building with Jerod Mayo? A lot of reasons why it would not make sense to move on from Bill Belichick, at least during the season.”

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After the season could be a different story, however. Kraft said in March that he expected the Patriots to be back to winning playoff games this season. That has not happened, with New England carrying an AFC-worst 2-7 record into Sunday’s matchup with the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt, Germany.

“This our 30th year that I’ve had the privilege of owning this team,” Kraft said Sunday in a pregame interview with NFL Network. “And I’ve never been 2-7. So, it’s really disappointing. I had hoped that things would be a lot better, as I know our fanbase did. And I hope today is a chance to reset and make this a much better year. This isn’t what we were expecting to happen this year.”

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Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images