Report: How Robert Kraft will approach exit meeting with Belichick originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
It seems highly unlikely that Patriots owner Robert Kraft would decide to part ways with Belichick, who's arguably the greatest coach in NFL history and doubles as New England's general manager. But Kraft said last March he expected New England to be a playoff contender in 2022, and Belichick's club failed to meet those expectations, finishing 8-9 to move to 25-25 with zero postseason wins since Tom Brady's departure in 2020.
To that point, The Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard admitted Monday night on NBC Sports Boston's "Boston Sports Tonight" he's not 100 percent sure Belichick is back with the team in 2023.
Even if moving on from Belichick might be too bold a response to this season's shortcomings, Bedard suggested Belichick's exit meeting with Kraft could go a little differently this year.
"The way that I understand it is, the meeting between Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick was either supposed to take place (Monday) night or (Tuesday) morning," Bedard said, as seen in the video above. "From what I understand, from an ownership perspective, they would like Bill Belichick to return, Bill Belichick would like to return, but as far as ownership goes, they need to hear a real plan (going) forward for what they're going to do.
"The way it was described to me is, normally during these meetings between Robert and Bill, Robert doesn't get a whole lot more (from Belichick) than (Belichick) gives to the media. That has played in other years. That is not going to play this year."
Belichick is notoriously short with reporters when it comes to roster strategy and personnel moves, answering most questions with the blanket statement of "doing what's best for the football team." As Bedard notes, Kraft may demand more detailed explanations from his head coach this week -- especially regarding the future of the coaching staff.
The Patriots' offense struggled mightily in 2022 under first-time offensive play-caller Matt Patricia, with second-year quarterback Mac Jones openly admitting he didn't make progress this season following a promising rookie campaign. We're guessing Kraft will want to know whether Belichick plans to keep Patricia in that role or bring in a more proven offensive coordinator such as Bill O'Brien, Kliff Kingsbury or Chad O'Shea.
And if Kraft and Belichick disagree on that subject, it's worth wondering whether Kraft forces Belichick's hand to demand a change after the disappointment of this season.
The results of Kraft's meeting with Belichick could determine the course of the offseason in New England.