It’s the end of an era in New England. The Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick will announce their divorce on Thursday, according to several US media outlets, including ESPN and NFL Network. This will end a long and successful 24-season partnership between both parties.
A press conference, featuring owner Robert Kraft and Belichick, is scheduled for later today.
The 71-year-old led the Patriots to six Super Bowl victories (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2018), more than anyone as a head coach in the circuit’s modern era. The organization also participated in three other finals under his direction.
The architect of two very glorious periods in Foxboro has a brilliant record of 266-121 in the season and 30-12 in the playoffs. The Patriots won 17 division titles with Belichick at the helm.
His record of 296 victories with a single team places him in second place in the history of the National Football League (NFL) in this regard, not far behind George Halas, at the top with 324 victories when he led the Chicago Bears .
Belichick and Brady, a successful union
The duo that Belichick formed with quarterback Tom Brady terrified the NFL for almost two decades. The last few years, after the departure of the famous number 12 in 2020, have been more complicated with three out of four campaigns below the .500 threshold.
The decision to keep young Brady as the starting center in 2001, to the detriment of veteran Drew Bledsoe, recovering from an injury, made Belichick famous in his early days in New England. A few weeks later, the team got a taste of the thrill of a first Super Bowl championship.
Every solution Belichick considered to replace Brady failed, starting with signing Cam Newton and then selecting Mac Jones in the first round (15th overall) of the 2021 draft.
The Patriots recently inherited the third overall pick for the upcoming Goodell Tour auction after a poor record of 4 wins to 13 losses this season. It remains to be seen who will be responsible for making this important selection for the future of the franchise.
The identity of Belichick’s successor is currently unknown. In addition to his role as head coach, the eventual Hall of Famer also served in administrative roles as general manager.