Will Belichick eventually leave Patriots? Curran, Florio swap theories originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
There's been plenty of discussion about legacy after Tom Brady announced his retirement earlier this month.
And while Bill Belichick's legacy as an all-time great is already secure, there's still one milestone he's chasing. The New England Patriots head coach enters the 2023 season needing 19 wins to surpass Don Shula as the winningest head coach in NFL history (including playoffs).
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So, how long will it take for Belichick to reach that milestone -- and what will he do once he passes Shula? Mike Florio of NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk teamed up with our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran on a new Patriots Talk Podcast from Super Bowl LVII Radio Row in Phoenix to share their theories on Belichick's next move.
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"I do think that they will find success with (new offensive coordinator Bill) O'Brien, and by the end of 2024 he will have caught Shula," Curran said of Belichick. "And after 2024, he will move upstairs ... he will move on to more of an advisory role and Jerod Mayo will take over as head coach with the Patriots. "
Curran reiterated this was a prediction and not an informed opinion, but it seems realistic. If the Patriots go 10-7 and 9-8 over their next two seasons (or vice versa), Belichick will overtake Shula by the end of the 2024 campaign, and Mayo seems like a natural successor to Belichick after the team announced plans to give him a long-term contract extension.
Florio had a bolder theory, however.
"One of the things I've heard is, his long-term play is to go somewhere else and be the (Bill) Parcells," Florio said. "(That's) very hard for a coach to do. It's hard for a coach to not coach. But if he adheres to 'Do Your Job," then you can do it."
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Bill Parcells doubled as the New York Jets' head coach and general manager from 1997 to 1999, and in 2000, he retired from coaching but stayed on as the team's general manager. After coming out of retirement to coach the Dallas Cowboys from 2003 to 2006, Parcells had a second front-office stint with the Miami Dolphins as their executive vice president of football operations from 2008 to 2010.
Florio believes Belichick could be enticed to take a front-office job with a new team -- and perhaps acquire an ownership stake in that team as well.
"The key is get a little equity," Florio said. "Go to one of these other teams, get a little piece of the action and settle into one of these overseer roles."
While Patriots fans occasionally have questioned Belichick's decisions as a GM over the years, we'd imagine another team would jump at the chance to hire Belichick and his 50-plus years of NFL coaching experience to oversee their football operations.
Curran and Florio discussed several more topics on the podcast, such as the one decision that may have gotten Belichick into trouble, why Belichick has been non-committal on Mac Jones' future and much more. Check out the full episode by subscribing to the Patriots Talk Podcast or watching on YouTube below.