The New England Patriots and legendary head coach Bill Belichick have mutually agreed to part ways. On the back of the shocking Nick Saban and Pete Carroll news on Wednesday, football fans were hit with another shockwave Thursday morning.
Patriots, Bill Belichick Part Ways After 24 Seasons Together
After putting the Patriots on the Mt. Rushmore of NFL franchises, including six Super Bowl championships, it’s time for Belichick to move on to other endeavors. Even with Tom Brady winning a title of his own in Tampa Bay, there’s no denying the impact Belichick had on his career.
And the potential impact he could have on another organization. The Atlanta Falcons have immediately emerged as a serious contender for Belichick’s services. Owner Arthur Blank has a long track record of trying to lure high-profile head coaches to the ATL — this time won’t be any different.
But will Belichick see this as a prime opportunity to build a juggernaut elsewhere? A lot of the pieces are already in place to make the Falcons a contender, thanks in large part to the additions general manager Terry Fontenot has made during his tenure.
The Falcons Roster Is Ready To Compete In 2024
The defense is headlined by superstar defensive backs like A.J. Terrell and Jessie Bates III, plus defensive linemen Grady Jarrett and Calais Campbell. Adding another cornerback and an effective pass rusher would do wonders, and Atlanta has the money and resources to do it.
On offense, few in the league can match the sheer firepower within this unit. Bijan Robinson is a budding All-Pro caliber player, while Drake London and Kyle Pitts flash immense upside. And let’s not forget the offensive line — a strong point of the roster.
As far as pieces go, the Falcons project as the best landing spot for any head coach. Sure, the most important position of all — quarterback — is still a glaring uncertainty, but with the No. 8 overall pick and a full stock of future assets, don’t be surprised if the Dirty Birds fly up to the top spot in the draft order.
Or, if the Bears choose to move on from quarterback Justin Fields, Atlanta may be the landing spot for the former Ohio State Buckeye. And it wouldn’t cost much in draft compensation — the No. 8 selection won’t be on the table.
Ultimately, the decision at quarterback will come down to two factors if Bill Belichick is hired:
- Does Belichick have time or the desire to develop a young quarterback?
- Would Belichick rather find an established starter and draft a quarterback to learn behind said veteran in 2024?
Either way, the Falcons should be in the market for a rookie signal-caller this offseason. If Fontenot can find a trade up the board to secure Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels, he should pull the trigger. Otherwise, a pairing of Kirk Cousins with someone like J.J. McCarthy or Cam Ward makes sense.
Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix are firmly on the radar as well, but with their draft stock clouded at the moment, it’s difficult to gauge if either will be available on Day 2. Neither is worth taking at No. 8, but perhaps the Falcons could trade back into Day 1 with their early second-rounder to land one of these rookies.
Atlanta Gives Belichick The Best Chance At Another Super Bowl Ring
All in all, the Falcons look like a dream job for most candidates. However, for Bill Belichick, the standards are different. He doesn’t necessarily need Atlanta, but they need him. Can Blank and Fontenot convince Belichick to take the gig?
If the Hall of Famer is dead set on coaching again in 2024, there are seven current openings around the league (not counting the vacancy he left in New England). But none of them, sans the Chargers job, have a franchise quarterback in tow. And none of them, including the Chargers, have a better all-around roster.
It really comes down to Justin Herbert, Los Angeles’ willingness to hire Belichick and his interest in moving to the complete opposite coast of America. Even with Herbert, the Falcons have the most enticing job opening if you ask me.
Cap space at their disposal, a strong and ascending roster, plus a highly-coveted No. 8 selection. Years after getting their heart ripped out via the 28-3 Super Bowl fiasco, the Atlanta fan base gets a chance to be on the right side of history with a potential Belichick hire.
One thing is for certain: football will never look the same again after this offseason. It’s a true changing of the guard, but don’t sleep on the old man getting another run at a Super Bowl. The stars are aligning, and Bill Belichick (plus a better quarterback) serves as the final piece of the puzzle to perennial playoff status.
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