FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 11: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots speaks to the media during a press conference at Gillette Stadium on January 11, 2024 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Belichick announced he is stepping down as head coach after 24 seasons with the team. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
There was an assumption as soon as Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots parted ways that he would immediately land a job with one of the seven other teams looking for a new head coach.
That just wasn’t the case.
As the process got underway, the Atlanta Falcons were the only team Belichick met with. He seemed to be the presumptive favorite after having two interviews with the club in quick succession.
Instead, the Falcons pivoted to hire Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.
As it turned out, the job should’ve been with Belichick, but he had a change of heart.
According to former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, the Falcons offered Belichick the job this offseason but he was the one who turned it down.
“I was told yesterday, and I do believe it from the source that I got it from, that supposedly Arthur Blank was bought in to Bill Belichick and could have offered him the job,” Esiason said, via the New York Post. “I don’t know why guys say no, but legitimately an NFL executive basically told me that they believe that Arthur Blank offered Bill the job.
“Now there may have been some caveats to that offer, you never know, it’s never ‘OK Bill, I want you, here’s a five-year contract, you do whatever you want.’ I don’t think it was one of those. The way it was made and sounded to me was like ‘OK, I understand your concerns, but you’re gonna have to deal with some of this and we want you to come in, we want you to be the coach,’ and then maybe he just thought better of it.”
The Athletic’s Jeff Howe had reported Belichick turned teams off because of his “mishandling of the Patriots’ quarterback situation in recent years, his desire to maintain total control of football operations, and a growing concern over the coach’s ability to relate to this generation of players.”
Belichick is the most successful coach in NFL history. He’s won six Super Bowl titles as a head coach and two more as an assistant. His 333 wins in the regular season and playoffs are the second-most all-time, trailing only Don Shula.
Now, he won’t be coaching in the league in 2024.