AFC East news: Bill Belichick, Patriots part ways after 24 seasons

After nearly a quarter of a century, the greatest coach in pro football history is looking for a new home. Per multiple reports, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have agreed to part ways.

The writing was on the wall after a 4-13 season in 2003 in which the Patriots had no offensive firepower, but still put a quality defense on the field. That was Belichick’s legacy — the quality defense part — but in Belichick’s four-year run without Tom Brady, the Patriots were never able to find a quarterback who could do anywhere near what Brady could do. The Patriots had just one winning season post-Brady, and that was not enough for owner Robert Kraft.

But in the end, it was Belichick’s all-encompassing genius that took the Patriots to a 302-165 regular-season record, a 31-13 postseason record, and six Super Bowls — the first at the end of the 2001 season, and the last at the end of the 2018 season. To do all that in an era of parity and free agency and constant schematic change is where Belichick has earned the right to call himself the greatest football coach ever.

“I’m going to do everything I can every day to do the best I can to help our football team,”  Belichick said on Monday in his final press conference as the team’s head coach. “That’s what I’ve always done. It’s never been any different for me in my career. I learned that lesson from my dad growing up. You work for the team that you’re working for and do the best you can for it, until somebody tells you different. So, that’s not going to change.”

Through all the wins, and all the controversies, Belichick has always been that day-after-day coach in the truest sense.

Belichick ends his New England tenure with 333 wins, placing him 14 behind Don Shula for the most by any coach in NFL history. We’ll have to see where that goal drives the 71-year-old Belichick from here.

Story originally appeared on Bills Wire