After a tumultuous season filled with setbacks and unfulfilled expectations, Bill Belichick still very much wants to do his job for the New England Patriots.

Even if the job description could be different going forward.

A day after posting a 4-13 finish that was the worst of his 29 seasons as an NFL head coach, the 71-year-old Belichick intimated a willingness to be flexible about his job duties should Patriots owner Robert Kraft decide to bring him back for his 25th year in New England.

That includes letting someone else handle personnel decisions.

“I’m for whatever collectively we decide as an organization is the best thing to help our football team,” Belichick said during his season-ending video conference Monday. “I’m under contract. I’m going to do what I always do, which is every day I come in, work as hard as I can to help the team in whatever way I can. So that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”

The confirmation that he is under contract was a departure for Belichick, who didn’t divulge any details about its terms or length. He was expected to meet with Kraft and his son, team president Jonathan Kraft, this week to discuss his job status.

Belichick wouldn’t say exactly when that would occur but said it could be “a series of meetings.”

“I don’t know. We’ll deal with that internally,” he said.

Externally, an entire league waits to see how the situation plays out. Reports swirled as different coaching jobs came available Monday, including one by the Athletic that quoted a source saying the Atlanta Falcons would be interested in Belichick should he depart from New England. The Falcons fired coach Arthur Smith late Sunday night.

The Patriots’ finish at the bottom of the AFC standings placed them behind only the Carolina Panthers (2-15) and Washington Commanders (4-13) in the 2024 NFL draft order. Even with the Chicago Bears owning the Panthers’ pick this year and selecting No. 1 for a second straight season, New England has a chance to draft one of the top available players.

That likely would be a quarterback following a disastrous third season by 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones, who continued to regress and was eventually benched in his first year under offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. Jones’ demotion could be a signal the team is ready to move on.

If a restart and rebuild is on tap for the Patriots, it’s unclear whether ownership will want Belichick to lead it.

One possible replacement could be linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, who turned down multiple head coaching interviews last offseason and signed a contract extension with the Patriots. He said recently that getting a head coaching job is still something he wants.

But Belichick was just as clear Monday that he wants the opportunity to be part of the Patriots’ future.

“I’m going to do everything I can every day to do the best I can to help our football team. That’s what I’ve always done. It’s never been any different for me in my career,” he said. “I learned that lesson from my dad growing up. You work for the team that you’re working for and do the best you can for it, until somebody tells you different. So, that’s not going to change.”


Jones said Monday that he felt he let down the team this season and vowed to be ready for his next opportunity, even if that’s not with the Patriots.

“What I’m looking for is the next opportunity,” he said. “I know it’s going to come, but at the end of the day, as a quarterback and a competitor, you’ve got to be ready, right? So I’m going to be ready.”

Would he welcome a change in teams?

“We’ll see. ... I’m going to compete, regardless,” he said. “I’m really happy to be in the NFL and be a quarterback in the NFL. Obviously, this year didn’t go great. And I’m going to do everything I can and I’ve done to get back on the right track.”


Adding more intrigue to the Patriots’ coaching situation is that they are projected to enter the offseason with about $72 million in salary cap space, placing them behind only the Commanders ($78 million) and Titans ($77 million).

New England’s figure could grow, depending on how many of its free agents return.

Improvement on the offensive side of the ball will again be a focus. Two of the league’s top receivers could be available in Cincinnati’s Tee Higgins and Indianapolis’ Michael Pittman Jr.


With Belichick declaring that he could be having multiple meetings with the Krafts, it’s possible his fate may not be settled for several days.

It makes for an intriguing week ahead of the playoffs. Whenever a decision is made, there will be ripples across the NFL.

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