Let's just take a minute to realize how wild it is that it's come to this. While every star does fade and Bill Belichick was never going to coach forever, it's remarkable to see how quickly the bottom has fallen out on the New England Patriots and the head coach's tenure with the franchise. Just two seasons ago after the club reached the playoffs with a first-round rookie quarterback in Mac Jones, it seemed like the organization's arrow was pointing in the right direction. Well, two years later Jones' development has gone off the rails, the team has missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, and now .
Belichick will now embark on a new chapter in his coaching career as he looks to surpass Hall of Fame coach Don Shula on the all-time wins list and will do so without a Patriots logo on his hoodie. As we start to think about his next step, let's take a look at some possible landing spots for arguably the greatest head coach of all time.
The Chargers job is one of the few that is currently open along with the Raiders and Panthers gigs. L.A. fired Brandon Staley in the middle of this season as the Chargers have routinely been a team that oozes talent on both sides of the ball, but questionable coaching moments haven't allowed them to reach their full potential. Along with Staley, the Chargers also fired GM Tom Telesco, which would pave the way for Belichick to retain power across the entire operation in a similar fashion he did in New England. This job may be the most attractive, however, because of Justin Herbert. Herbert is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL when healthy, and if Belichick aligns himself with the former first-round pick and builds a winning culture around him, the sky is the limit for Los Angeles. This situation should check a lot of Belichick's boxes.
This is an intriguing one for Belichick and CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones even called it the most logical landing spot for the legendary coach. For someone that has struggled to draft offensive skill position players, the Falcons have them in spades with the likes of Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts already on the roster. Belichick could simply focus on building other parts of the roster out while looking to maximize the talent of those players, which is something Arthur Smith ultimately failed to do over his tenure. The big question will be what the Falcons can do at quarterback with Desmond Ridder and Taylor Henicke not emerging as a building block at the position. If Atlanta can align Belichick with a young prospect or veteran signal-caller, they are in a division where they could conceivable pile up plenty of wins. In the aftermath of moving on from Smith, owner Arthur Blank is rumored to be big-game hunting for his next head coach. There'd be none bigger than Belichick.
The big question here would be roster control. Would Jerry Jones -- the owner and GM of the Cowboys -- allow Belichick to have the final say over roster decisions if he were to bring the future Hall of Fame coach to Dallas? Because if he doesn't, that probably ends the conversation as it's hard to imagine Belichick being told who is and is not on his roster at this stage of his career. But let's work under the assumption that Jones would give way and at least be fully collaborative with Belichick in this endeavor. Boy, would this be something: The greatest head coach of all time joining forces with America's team.
The Cowboys already have a roster ready-made for a Super Bowl run. Still, one of the big concerns about this current team making a title run has been the coaching under Mike McCarthy. If they flop in their upcoming playoff matchup with the Green Bay Packers during the wild-card round, could that open the door for Jones to make the change? Belichick would come in, have instant credibility amongst the roster, and could very well solve the execution and mental mistakes this Cowboys team has been plagued with for recent seasons. If Belichick not only wants to catch Shula, but possibly stack another Super Bowl onto his résumé, there aren't many better options in the league, but the pieces need to fall exactly right for this job to open up.