Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Thursday, CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones reported that the Atlanta Falcons were closing in on reaching an agreement with Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris to be their new head coach and the Rams later made it official. This development is notable for multiple reasons, because it affects arguably the greatest NFL head coach of all time.

The Falcons opening was the only job former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick interviewed for, and he was considered by many to be the favorite. With that job about to be filled, it leaves just two open positions. Just this week, NBC Sports reported that multiple teams were “quietly considering a potential run at Belichick.” At least one of those teams did not have a head coach, while at least one of them did. What will happen next?

Could Belichick really be one of the losers in this game of NFL musical chairs? What are his options right now? When the Patiots parted ways with him he had more options. Below, we will break down some potential landing spots for Belichick. 

The Commanders are one of two teams still looking for a new head coach, and many see this gig as an attractive one with Josh Harris at the helm and Adam Peters as the new general manager. However, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson appears to be the favorite to win this job, and since his team is in the NFC Championship game, he obviously can’t yet make his way to Ashburn. Per Jonathan Jones, Washington has had no interest in pursuing Belichick. The 71-year-old landing in Washington would surprise me. 

The Seahawks are the other team yet to hire a new head coach. Going back to NBC Sports’ report, I think the Seahawks could be that team without a head coach considering a late push for Belichick. Then again, pushing out a 72-year-old for a 71-year-old doesn’t make very much sense. 

The Seahawks are an impressive organization with the reigning Comeback Player of the Year at quarterback, a young running back, an underrated wide receiving corps and a defense with several talented pieces. The Seahawks should be considered an attractive job, and while they are one of the last teams to choose a new lead man, Seattle has plenty of options to choose from including Belichick, Mike Vrabel, Dan Quinn and Bobby Slowik. 

Back to the AFC East

Could a team considering a run at Belichick be a former rival? The New York Jets were again a disaster in 2023. Yes, they lost Aaron Rodgers five minutes into the season, but why is that an excuse? The Cleveland Browns went 11-6 and made the playoffs without their starting quarterback — and with the guy who started for the Jets just last year! Robert Saleh is reportedly safe, but he’s now 18-33 with the Jets, and has absolutely bungled the quarterback situation two years in a row. You never know.

As for the Buffalo Bills, they were bounced from the playoffs by the Kansas City Chiefs once again. This is now the third straight postseason in which Buffalo has lost in the divisional round. The Bills aren’t a bad team, but have they reached their ceiling with Sean McDermott? Could the idea of a motivated Belichick who gets to face off against his former team twice a year as he chases the all-time win record be attractive? 

‘We’re on to 2025’

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a year off? This may be the most likely possibility. Most 70-year-olds would consider retiring, but it doesn’t appear Belichick will. Why? He’s 26 wins away from tying Don Shula for the most regular-season wins in NFL history, and 14 wins from tying Shula for the most wins including playoffs. Belichick could hang out in Nantucket a little longer or serve as some kind of a consultant for Jerry Jones before he takes over for Mike McCarthy in 2024.

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