Bill Belichick to Washington? One reporter said he talked to the team in 2018 offseason

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Ryan Homler
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Belichick to WFT? One reporter said he talked to the team in 2018 offseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Imagining Bill Belichick anywhere but on the New England Patriots sidelines, wearing a cutoff sweatshirt as the camera captures his emotionless face is nearly impossible. The head coach is entering his 22nd season with the team and the thought of him taking a job somewhere else seems stranger than when Tom Brady departed for Tampa Bay.

However, according to ESPN's Seth Wickersham, that nearly unimaginable scenario somewhat became a possibility following the 2018 season. Not only that, but the Washington Football Team was involved.

"At the time, I think there was a sense that Brady wasn't going anywhere and Bill left the impression that he might be open to a move," Wickersham said on The Harrison Vapnek Podcast this week. "There were some reports that came out at the time that the (New York) Giants were looking at him. I think he talked to the Washington Football Team and the (Miami) Dolphins about sort of their openings.

"And it was unclear whether he was interested or not, but he was still talking to them and subsequent reporting has only sort of shown how in that offseason, Brady skipped the offseason program for the first time in his career and he had just kind of had enough."

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As he explains, the timeline for these reports matches up with the offseason in which Wickersham published a story detailing growing tensions between Brady and Belichick in New England. The team had just come off a loss in the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles and sources said at the time said there was trouble between Brady, Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.

At the time, Washington was manned by head coach Jay Gruden who joined the team in 2014. Things were not going well, though, as the team was coming off a 7-9 season. After an 0-5 start in 2019, Gruden was fired. Belichick, who had won five Super Bowls with New England from 2000 to 2018 would have been a groundbreaking move for the franchise.

Obviously, none of that ever came to fruition as Brady and Belichick were fine for the time being and even went on to win another Super Bowl in 2019 before the quarterback left for Tampa Bay. Belichick, of course, is still in New England.

Washington turned out okay as well, as Ron Rivera took over -- and though it is only a year in -- initial success and a change in culture show that the organization has found the stability it was looking for.