The New England Patriots starting the regular season with a 1-5 record has raised questions about Bill Belichick’s future as their head coach. However, at least contractually, he is bound to the organization for the foreseeable future.
As NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday morning, Belichick has “quietly agreed to terms on a lucrative, multi-year new contract” during the offseason. Terms of the deal are kept a secret, but it shows that the 71-year-old has been in the organization’s plans at least as of a few months ago.
From @NFLGameDay: This past offseason, #Patriots coach Bill Belichick quietly agreed to a lucrative multi-year new contract, sources say. That, at least, adds some context to the discussions about the greatest coach in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/ZPjRxzMVzJ— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 22, 2023
Belichick has served as the Patriots’ head coach and de facto general manager since the 2000 season, leading the team to its first six Super Bowl wins and helping establish the most successful dynasty in league history. Since the departure of long-term starting quarterback Tom Brady, however, his teams have struggled to stay competitive.
New England missed the playoffs in two of three seasons post-Brady, and has not won a postseason game since its victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. This year, the team has hit rock bottom — stumbling to the aforementioned 1-5 record while fielding one of the worst offenses in football.
Paired with remarks by team owner Robert Kraft during the offseason, this slow start has kickstarted some questions about his future.
“I still believe in Bill,” Kraft said in March. “I think Bill is exceptional at what he does and I’ve given him the freedom to make the choices and do the things that need to be done. His football intellect and knowledge is unparalleled from what I’ve seen. Just when you talk to him, the small things analytically he looks at. But in the end, this is a business. You either execute and win or you don’t. That’s where we’re at. I think we’re in a transition phase.”
Time will tell what the future holds for Belichick. At least contractually, however, he is bound to the Patriots beyond 2023.