Report: Robert Kraft is ‘not inclined' to fire Bill Belichick mid-season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Bill Belichick's future as the head coach of the New England Patriots will continue to be a hotly debated topic locally and nationally for many more months, especially if the team continues to struggle.
The Patriots are 2-7 for the first time since 2000 -- Belichick's first season with the franchise -- and currently own a top five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
If the Patriots were to lose Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts in Germany, they would go into their bye week with the worst record in the AFC.
It's not crazy to think Belichick might be in his final campaign with the Patriots. But is it actually possible the team makes a coaching change during the regular season?
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport provided an update on the situation Sunday morning.
"My understanding is Robert Kraft is not inclined to fire Bill Belichick mid-season, which is unbelievable and amazing that we're even discussing this, but given the record and the last couple years, it is a topic on the airwaves in New England and elsewhere," Rapoport said.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 12, 2023
Rapoport also confirmed our Tom E. Curran's report that Belichick's "new contract" runs through the 2024 season. So, If the Patriots wanted to make a coaching change next offseason, they could trade Belichick and get some compensation for him, such as a draft pick. That option is eliminated if he's fired.
"There are a lot of reasons why it makes no sense to fire Bill Belichick mid-season," Rapoport added. "First of all, he's the greatest coach of all time, and sometimes these guys are treated differently. The other part of this is if Belichick is going to somehow, some way coach elsewhere next season, the Patriots have him under contract and would at least want some sort of compensation to make this happen.
"If you're going to fire him, what does that actually do? Does it give you a jump on a process if you already have his successor in the building in Jerod Mayo? There are a lot of reasons why it would not make sense to move on from Bill Belichick at least during the season. We'll see if it ends up happening after."
Belichick is still a really good coach, but his ability to act as a GM and build a successful roster in today's NFL is very much in question after the last couple years. The upcoming offseason could be a monumental one for the Patriots, and it'll be interesting to see if a head coaching change ends up being part of that process.