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Where did the Bill Belichick to the Washington Commanders rumors start?


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Washington Football Team v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The Bill Belichick to Washington rumors were initially dismissed when Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio floated the idea of the Patriots trading the head coach that brought them six Super Bowl wins. Reports came out a month ago that, despite speculation that New England was ready to move on from Belichick, he had actually signed a lucrative, multi-year contract extension.

Mike Florio | Pro Football Talk

Mike Florio said he “caught wind over the weekend of some chatter in league circles with this notion that when the season ends, the Commanders will trade with the Patriots to get Bill Belichick. That that’s where this is going. I also heard separately that everyone’s out when the season’s over in Washington. Jason Wright, team president, out. Martin Mayhew, GM, out. Head coach Ron Rivera, out.”

Florio then went on to detail how a potential between new Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris an Patriots owner Robert Kraft would go down. The official negotiations would happen at the highest levels, and involve compensation from Washington to negotiate a new contract with Bill Belichick. Florio said the unofficial way would happen between Belichick’s camp and a a rep from the Commanders to gauge interest, and negotiate agreeable terms,

Robert Kraft is looking for a quiet end to the greatest coaching run in team, and NFL history, but a run that came crashing down after Tom Brady was pushed out/made his exit into free agency to win another Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A trade is the best way to save face for both sides, and start fresh.

Albert Breer | NBC Boston

Albert Breer has been tied into the New England football scene for a long time and now writes the Monday Morning Quarterback(MMQB) for Sports Illustrated. He was asked about the Washington Commanders possibly trading for Bill Belichick in an interview with NBC Boston. Breer talked about potential trade compensation, and comped it to the Denver Broncos sending the first round pick they got in the Bradley Chubb trade from the Miami Dolphins(#29) last year, and their second round pick this year. Breer claims he’s heard about the Commanders interest in Bill Belichick for over a year now, which would put that right around the time that Dan Snyder announced that he was exploring all options on the sale of the team. He said he’s heard about it more intensely over the last month which would put that timeline after the Bears embarrassed the Commanders at FedEx Field on Thursday Night Football.

Breer shared four reasons for the appeal that the Washington Commanders would have for Bill Belichick.

  1. Widespread belief that Belichick still wants to coach after this year.
  2. Washington is a historic franchise.
  3. The area is home for him. Belichick’s from Annapolis, MD, about 45 minutes from DC.
  4. Josh Harris went to Harvard Business School with Robert Kraft’s son, Jonathan. There’s a relationship between the two families. The Krafts were big champions of getting the Commanders. Their relationship could help when determining draft pick compensation, and give the Krafts and Belichick an “elegant solution”

“If you look back over the years, you can see new owners coming in and doing something like this to try and build credibility for themselves. Miami had Bill Parcells when Stephen Ross came in, that gave Steve Ross some some credibility. After Shad Khan had a rough few years, he brought Tom Coughlin back to bring some credibility to his ownership group. I think it would be the same thing here: If Harris were to hire Belichick, it would be a credibility play for the new Commanders owner.”

Dianna Russini | The Athletic

The Athletic’s Dianna Russini threw more fuel onto the Bill Belichick is out in New England fire 10 days later:

Speculation continues to grow about the end of the partnership between the Patriots and Belichick. In talking to those who have spent time around the Patriots organization and understand the dynamics between team owner Robert Kraft and Belichick, I don’t expect anything to be determined with so much season remaining. But if people I talk to had to bet, their money is on a mutual parting of the ways at the end of the season.

Dan Orlovsky | Pat McAfee Show

Former NFL QB, and current ESPN analyst, Dan Orlovsky came out of left field with some Bill Belichick news on Tuesday’s Pat McAfee Show. He was asked about the Dianni Russini reporting about a mutual parting of ways between New England and their Hall of Fame head coach. Orlovsky made clear that he’s not a reporter, but said he had heard the same things coming from Foxboro. What Dan added to the story was the he’d heard the location of where Bill Belichick was headed had already been determined. He was asked if it was the Los Angeles Chargers, but he wouldn’t give specifics on the new team, or where he had heard this bombshell.

Alber Breer | Dan Patrick Show

Albert Breer was back again on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday, and he was asked about Orlovsky’s “bombshell”. He said, “I don’t know if a destination’s been determined. I would say this though, the Washington stuff has been out there for a while. It’s something that’s been talked about in NFL circles for more than the time that it’s been out there in the public.” Breer repeated his history lesson on NFL owners bringing in older established coaches as a credibility booster. He also brought up the history between the Kraft and Harris families that goes back over 30 years.

Breer also brings up the all-time NFL head coaching record that Belichick is chasing. It is currently held by Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame head coach Don Shula, but Belichick is 16 wins behind Shula including the playoffs. He is 30 wins behind Shula in regular season play. Belichick was expected by many to surpass Shula in total wins by the end of next season, but they’ve only won 2 games this year, and might not win another one if their downward trend continues. Committing to a coach that might have lost his edge for two more years to chase one of the true goat records left isn’t in the Patriots best interests.

Breer said the two teams that have been connected to Bill Belichick the most have been Washington and Dallas. The Cowboys addition to the Belichick sweepstakes was a welcome addition to the rumor mill. Breer lists the two franchises’ similarities(NFC East, historic franchises, owners that badly want to win), but they’re obviously in different spots in their NFL ownerships.

Betting Odds

That was a lot of whispers and speculation from around the league followed by questions about comments about said whispers. There’s been enough smoke for fans to take notice, and for betting sites to put the Washington Commanders as most likely to be Bill Belichick’s next team. There are definitely connections between Josh Harris and Robert Kraft that can’t be ignored, but we’re far away from anything solid connecting these dots.

You can scroll through the comments of the above tweet about the odds to see the reaction from the vocal online fans who immediately shot down the idea. Trading for a 71 year old coach who will be coming off of his worst season isn’t inspiring confidence in this version of the timeline.

The Washington Commanders are entering a completely new era after a quarter century of dysfunction under former owner Dan Snyder. His last head coach was Ron Rivera, a respected 2x NFL Head Coach of the Year, who was brought in to stabilize the organization. Rivera was given as much complete control as you can get under Snyder, but didn’t produce a single winning season after more than 3 12 years.

Bill Belichick was one of the inspirations for the coach-centric franchise model that Snyder thought would save his NFL ownership, but he could also be the reason new managing owner Josh Harris’s ownership falls flat after the initial honeymoon year. The new ownership group made their presence known at the trade deadline, moving both of their starting defensive ends who were set to be free agents next year. The accumulation of future draft picks for the next GM seems like a good reason to move players, but if those picks are used to bring in an upgraded version of your current quagmire, you’re just shooting into an empty barrel waiting for the wave.


Do you want Bill Belichick to coach the Washington Commanders next season?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    (103 votes)
  • 9%
    Yes, if he is fired
    (128 votes)
  • 82%
    Not trading for a washed up coach
    (1067 votes)
1298 votes total Vote Now