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Bill Belichick's comments underscore difficulty of a trade

Despite speculation for weeks regarding a potential trade of coach Bill Belichick from the Patriots to another team, that outcome is looking less and less likely. Belichick's comments from Monday underscore this reality.

"I'm under contract, do what I always do, which is every day I come in and work as hard as I can to help the team in whatever way I can," Belichick told reporters. "So, that's what I'm going to continue to do."

In other words, I'm working here until they tell me I'm not. And I'm fine with that.

Answers will come after Belichick meets with owner Robert Kraft. As Belichick noted on Monday, it could be a series of meetings.

"We'll deal with that internally," Belichick said.

The external message seems to be clear. I have a job. This is my job. I'm going to do my job until someone tells me not to do it. He basically said that.

"I'm going to do everything I can every day to do the best I can to help our football team," Belichick explained. "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."

His team continues to be the Patriots. His contract ties him to the Patriots. He'll work for the Patriots until the Patriots don't want him. If they don't, they can fire him — and then he'll go find a new team.

He has no reason to go along with a trade. Why would he want his new team to give up one or more draft picks to get him, when all he has to do is say, "I'm going to do my job until you tell me to stop"?

While all signs and signals continue to point to a separation, Belichick doesn't have to make it easy for Kraft. Belichick doesn't have to go along with a cake-and-eat-it deal with a new team. He doesn't have to lock arms for a "mutual parting."

He can do what he's doing, and what he quite possibly will keep doing. Shrug and say, I work here until you tell me otherwise.

If he wants to stay with the Patriots (and he quite possibly does), it's the best approach. It forces Kraft to make the move, and it allows Belichick to exit with maximum options — and also with the possibility of sticking Kraft with a large chunk of Belichick's 2024 compensation.