If Bill Belichick leaves, there most likely won't be a trade

No one knows with any certainty as to what will happen between the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick, after today's game against the Jets end. Here's a safe conclusion, regarding the potential future options for Belichick.

He most likely won't be traded.

It's just not practical. Belichick, as we've repeatedly said, has no reason to go along with it. It will take too long for the process to play out, with other teams having to comply with the Rooney Rule before mobilizing to hire Belichick. Through it all, the Patriots would have their own search delayed.

And while the Patriots and another team could have made arrangements before the end of the regular season regarding a potential transaction, there are too many moving parts and too much discretion that would need to be employed. If/when the effort came to light, the NFL would potentially hammer all involved — especially since the Patriots are involved.

It just won't work, primarily since one of the key components will be cooperation from a head coach who has no reason to cooperate. So, if he goes, it'll either be a termination or a mutual parting.