The New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick are mutually parting ways after 24 seasons and six Super Bowl victories together.
Belichick, who turns 72 in April, had one year remaining on a contract that reportedly earned him $25 million annually, more than any other coach in the NFL. The Patriots are estimated to have paid him at least $200 million during his tenure. Belichick has 333 career wins, 14 shy of Don Shula’s NFL record 347, but in four seasons without Tom Brady, he is just 29-37 with one playoff appearance.
The Patriots are letting their old coach leave on his own accord and won’t seek compensation from his next team. During a press conference on Thursday, an emotional Belichick made it clear he isn’t done coaching. “We’re going to move on,” he said. “I look forward, and [I’m] excited for the future.”
Who Will Pay up for the Hoodie?
Outside of New England, there are currently seven other head coaching openings: in Atlanta, Carolina, Las Vegas, Los Angeles (Chargers), Seattle, Tennessee, and Washington. Belichick is expected to still command a top—if not the highest—salary in the NFL.
The Falcons, Seahawks, and Titans notably have general managers still in place, while the other four teams are searching for a coach and GM. Belichick operated as both for the Patriots during his 24 years in New England.
Is TV in His Future, Too?
While Belichick will likely continue to work elsewhere in the NFL for the time being, when the legendary coach does retire, he’ll have strong interest from TV networks looking to hire him as an analyst, multiple executives told Front Office Sports reporter Michael McCarthy last year.
A move to TV could provide another nice payday for Belichick. Top agents estimated that he could earn $8 million to $10 million as a studio analyst—and double that as a No. 1 game analyst.