Bill Belichick Tipped for NFC East Return if Fired by Patriots: Insider

Bill Belichick

Getty Bill Belichick could return to the NFC East if the Patriots make a change.

Bill Belichick’s future is becoming a frequent topic of conversation for the New England Patriots. Specifically, the six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach’s position beyond this season is being called into question, with a return to the NFC East tipped by a Pats insider.

Speaking on an edition of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Mike Giardi named the Washington Commanders as a possible fit for Belichick: “I can seem somebody like the Commanders, okay, let’s just say the Commanders this season, they don’t end up in the playoffs.”

Giardi doesn’t believe the Patriots could trade Belichick for a first-round draft pick. It means the 71-year-old would have to test the open market after being fired, and Giardi reiterated Washington as a destination: “Yeah. I think I don’t think he’ll want to go out this way. I think you’ll want to coach. Like I said, I don’t think I don’t think you’d get much for him in a trade. But there are teams. Sure. I think the Commanders would be a team.”

Belichick made his name as one of the league’s brightest assistants when he served as defensive coordinator for Washington’s division rivals the New York Giants. He helped Big Blue win Super Bowls after the 1986 and ’90 seasons, calling plays for a unit led by standout linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks.

Those Lombardi Trophies landed Belichick an ill-fated head-coaching gig with the Cleveland Browns that ended after the 1995 campaign. He returned to the head-coaching ranks in New England in 2000, embarking on a dynasty that spanned two decades, but the magic has been wearing off in recent years.

Belichick has led the Pats to just one playoff appearance since Tom Brady left town after the 2019 NFL season. This year’s team is 1-5, the season already looks doomed, and a change appears inevitable.

Bill Belichick Deserves to Be Under Pressure for QB Mismanagement

Replacing Brady was always going to be a tough needle to thread, but Belichick has heaped pressure upon himself with some increasingly suspect decisions. Dubious calls like installing rookie free agent Malik Cunningham as Mac Jones’ backup over Bailey Zappe for Week 6’s 21-17 defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders.

That prompted this tirade from Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal, appearing on 98.5’s “Felger & Massarotti” show (h/t NBC Sports Boston): “This is how little he thinks of the quarterback position. I mean, this is emblematic of why Bill is in this position.”

Belichick’ mis-management of the quarterback situation is at the root of the Patriots’ post-Brady rot. The nadir came when Belichick asked former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and ex-special teams coach Joe Judge to run the offense in 2021.

To the surprise of nobody, Patricia and Judge’s stewardship only served to further the stunt Jones’ development. Belichick’s inability to surround Jones with enough talent has also been a major problem.

Several signings, including Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mike Gesicki and Jonnu Smith have either been misused or flopped altogether. It hasn’t helped Belichick has also failed to add enough young talent at the skill positions.

He used five picks on defensive players in this year’s draft and also selected a kicker and punter in the class. Those were curious moves at a time when the Patriots need to keep pace with the high-powered Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills in order to stay relevant in the AFC East.

There was a time when Belichick’s conservative strategy dovetailed brilliantly with Brady’s innate knack for winning games in the clutch. That time has long since past and Belichick resembles a coach lacking fresh ideas.

Perhaps a fresh start in pastures less than new would help.

Commanders Not Bill Belichick’s Only Option in NFC East

He hasn’t coached in the NFC East since the 1990 season, but Belichick may still think of the division as home. It’s where he established himself as the foremost defensive mind in the game.

Belichick retains a soft spot for the Giants, a feeling shared by franchise owner John Mara, according to WFAN Sports Radio.

The Giants also stumbling to a 1-5 start this season will likely keep their name linked to Belichick in any rumors. Things are different for the Commanders, who are 3-3, but head coach Ron Rivera hasn’t had a winning season since taking over in 2020.

A new ownership group comprised of Josh Harris and Magic Johnson didn’t hire Rivera and his staff. Harris and Johnson could see Belichick as the ideal big name to front their makeover of the franchise.