Judgment day is fast approaching for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

With just two games left on New England’s schedule, we should learn within the next two to three weeks whether Belichick will return for a 25th season as Patriots head coach in 2024.

That, of course, will not be a simple decision for team owner Robert Kraft. Belichick is widely regarded as the greatest coach in NFL history. He’s also been the Patriots’ de facto general manager throughout his tenure, meaning Kraft would have two positions to fill if he does opt to move on from Belichick.

But could Kraft attempt to strip Belichick of his GM duties while keeping him on as head coach? Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer floated that potential scenario in a column Thursday.

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From Breer:

“But I could see a scenario where Patriots owner Robert Kraft goes to Belichick and lays it out like this: We were going to restructure football ops after you retired, so rather than waiting for that, we’re going to do it now. I’m hiring a general manager. You won’t report to him, but he won’t report to you, either. Both of you will report to me, and you will work together, with his job being to build the roster up to 90, and your job being to cut it down to 53. If you want to be a part of that, great. If not, we can find a graceful way to end this.”

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That solution would require Belichick to be willing to accept what amounts to a demotion. He might have no interest in giving up personnel control after having final say on all football-related decisions for the last 24 years and delivering the franchise six Super Bowl titles during that span.

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Breer, who set Belichick’s odds of sticking around at “less than 50-50,” wrote that “(m)ost people who know (Belichick) say there is no way” he would go for that setup.

“But it’s possible his reaction to a proposal like that would ride on what his options might be outside of the Patriots,” Breer added.

Either way, it’s clear changes are necessary as the Patriots close out their worst season in decades. Belichick’s inability to assemble a sufficiently talented and well-coached offense submarined each of New England’s last two campaigns, squandering quality performances from its stout and resilient defense.

Will that process involve Belichick keeping his job — or at least part of it? We’ll soon find out.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images