Belichick’s Battle for Control: What Lies Ahead for the Head Coach in 2025?

Seattle and Washington are just two of the potential options for Bill Belichick as he searches for a head-coaching job in 2024. However, if nothing materializes in those cities or elsewhere, the question remains: what will happen in 2025? The issue of control hovers over Belichick’s prospects – will he demand control over the football operation, and if so, will the owner be willing to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate him?

Peter King recently emphasized the importance of analytics staff in today’s NFL on Friday’s PFT Live show. Most teams now have a robust group of analytics experts at hand, ready to provide constant input and advice to the head coach. However, what if Belichick doesn’t want any of them around? What if he only wants people he knows and trusts, a criticism often directed at him during his final years in New England?

Belichick understands the tendency of people to talk and use information for personal gain. His upbringing on the grounds of the Naval Academy, where secrecy is paramount, likely contributes to his reluctance to trust others. Over the past two decades, he carefully shaped a small staff of coaches and others around him to maintain a tight-knit and trustworthy group.

The challenge for Belichick if he takes over a new team is whether the owner will be willing to let go of existing staff members to accommodate his preferences or he will have to place his faith in unfamiliar faces. Furthermore, the question of where his preferred coaching staff will be in a year’s time arises. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, currently available, might not be an option to partner up with Belichick again if he signs a multi-year contract elsewhere. The same goes for other potential staff members like Matt Patricia, Joe Judge, and even Belichick’s sons.

Belichick’s potential ego adjustment might be prompted by spending a year in TV, leading him to accept that he will have to solely focus on coaching. However, once he is a coach again, will he accept that role without control over personnel decisions?

The issue of control extends beyond just the draft and the roster; it also encompasses player development. In recent years, the Patriots’ shortage of quality players may be attributed not only to the General Manager’s selection process but also to Belichick’s failure to properly groom them. If he has struggled with players he wanted, what will he do with those he didn’t?

The prospect of full control for Belichick is essential to avoid potential chaos. Any owner who wishes to have him in 2025 must be prepared to give him the keys to the operation, allowing him to steer the team wherever and in whatever way he desires.

The likelihood of an owner taking that risk remains uncertain, but Belichick’s presence in the media as a TV commentator will give him a platform to display his football knowledge and charisma. If there is already a strong roster in place, the risks of granting him full control should be mitigated.

Several teams appear to be potential options for Belichick, including the Bills, Browns, Jaguars, Giants, Eagles, Vikings, and Buccaneers. The Cowboys are not included, as this past year presented the best opportunity for that move. The Giants, in particular, have long been believed to be a desired destination for Belichick due to his previous success there. The Browns also make the list due to the owner’s history of impulsive decisions. Lastly, the Vikings could appeal to Belichick due to the owners’ past affiliation as Giants fans and their desire to achieve success after years of striving.

While the potential options for Belichick in 2025 are limited, all it takes is one owner willing to take the chance. The decision won’t come easy or cheap, but Belichick’s track record and expertise in situational football make him a proven winner. If an owner is willing to trust him with full control and has a solid roster already, the risks may be worth it.

The question remains: will an owner be willing to take that leap of faith in 2025? Only time will tell.