Bill Belichick Parting Ways With Patriots After 24 Years

(Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Legendary New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is leaving his position after 24 seasons with the team.

Belichick had been meeting with the Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft throughout the first weeks of 2024, discussing how best to proceed with the team as Belichick takes a step back, league sources told the outlet. There was no ill will, conflict, or disagreement between Belichick and Kraft, and both came to a mutual decision. Belichick addressed his departure in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Belichick only has one year remaining on his contract, and will leave the team without seeking compensation. And he may be heading to another team altogether. At least seven NFL teams have head coaching vacancies at the time of writing, so will Belichick head to one of them, like the Atlanta Falcons?

But who is going to step into the massive shoes left behind by Belichick? Kraft is apparently interested in former Patriots linebacker coach Jerod Mayo, who played for the team between 2008 and 2014. Mayo assisted under Belichick since 2019, so should be one of the top names in consideration for the job.

Belichick’s ddecision comes within hours of Nick Saban’s retirement from the Alabama Crimson Tide, and Pete Carroll’s exit from the Seattle Seahawks. (RELATED: ‘The Dynasty’ Finally Gives New England Patriots The Documentary Treatment They Deserve)

Many weren’t surprised when the rumors erupted of Belichick’s exit. Kraft really wanted the Patriots to make the playoffs this season, but the team was one of the first to be eliminated in December.

“It’s really been disappointing. I had hoped things would be a lot better, as I know our fan base did. … This isn’t what we were expecting to happen this year,” Kraft said prior to another game against the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt, Germany.

A big part of the pain was also the loss of Tom Brady in 2019. Since his exit, the Patriots lost three of the four of their seasons.