Rumors that Bill Belichick could be heading for a divorcee with the New England Patriots have been circling for weeks.
On January 4, NFL insider Josina Anderson threw fuel on that fire. Furthermore, she added there are teams in the NFC South with potential interest in Belichick.
“I’m told there are teams within the NFC South with potential interest in Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, per source,” Anderson wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
Currently, only the Carolina Panthers have a head coach opening in the NFC South. But it’s very possible that the Atlanta Falcons could depart with Arthur Smith. In Week 17, the 41-year-old coach clinched his third straight losing season to begin his head coaching career.
Despite one of the easiest schedules in the league, the best the Falcons can do is finish 8-9 this season. Quarterback is a huge reason for the disappointing 2023 season. Behind center has been a mess in Atlanta since Matt Ryan’s departure.
Smith, as an offensive coach, must answer for that debacle this offseason.
However, the Falcons can still win the NFC South with a below .500 record. If Atlanta defeats the New Orleans Saints, and the Carolina Panthers knock off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the Falcons will win the NFC South and host a playoff game.
Anderson didn’t specify which NFC South teams could be interested in Belichick. But she implied the teams’ potential interest will depend on what happens in Week 18.
“Wherever there’s pending transition, it strategically involves analysis of the market for feedback, guidance and hopeful assurance of a landing spot — outside of a prospect candidate electing to just take time off,” wrote Anderson.
“There are still NFL teams whose fates and future direction are pending the outcome of Week 18.”
If the Falcons lose and finish 7-10 a third straight season or win and miss the playoffs anyway, it will be interesting to see if Belichick comes into play for the Falcons.
With the vagueness of Anderson’s tweet and the fact the Falcons, Buccaneers and Saints all have something at stake in Week 18, the entire NFC South could conceivably be interested in Belichick.
The only coach with six Super Bowl wins, Belichick will turn 72 in April. According to Anderson, he wants to become the all-time winningest head coach in league history.
Belichick owns a 302-164 regular season record. He trails only Don Shula and George Halas in regular season victories.
Belichick needs 27 more wins to pass Shula for first on the all-time wins list.
Including postseason records, Belichick needs 15 more victories to be the winningest head coach in history.