NFL Rumors: Patriots plan in life after Belichick may not be the right one

There is a reported "most likely outcome" for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to replace head coach Bill Belichick after the season.

Nov 8, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; The owner of the New England Revolution, Robert Kraft,
Nov 8, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; The owner of the New England Revolution, Robert Kraft, / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have done the unthinkable in 2023, and that's become the first team in the entire AFC to miss out on a playoff berth. With the team sitting at 3-10 after the first 14 weeks of the season, the status of head coach Bill Belichick has come into question. Even though Belichick brought the Patriots six Super Bowl titles to New England, they were unable to succeed after quarterback Tom Brady left in free agency. Would Belichick's resume keep his job safe?

On Monday, Tom Curran of NBC Sports revealed that Patriots owner Robert Kraft came to a decision after the team's 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Germany -- they were going to move on from Belichick as head coach. With this bombshell news, Patriots fans are probably wondering where the team will go next for their head coach. It is an unenviable position for Belichick's replacement, considering the success he had in the first 20 years with the team.

According to ESPN's Dan Graziano subscription required), the Patriots' most likely outcome is to promote linebackers coach Jerod Mayo to replace Belichick, per those in and around the building. However, Graziano notes that others believe it's no guarantee that Mayo will be given the job automatically.

Jerod Mayo the 'most likely' to replace Bill Belichick as Patriots head coach

"Multiple sources in and around the building say Mayo taking over next year is the most likely outcome, though others are no longer certain that's the way Kraft will go," writes Graziano. "Mayo would have to sell Kraft on who will be in charge of the offense, the quarterback's development and personnel. That could all happen and work out in Mayo's favor, but it doesn't sound like it's a 100% sure thing."

Graziano also mentions that his sources believed Kraft's plan was for Belichick to be the head coach in 2023 and 2024 before pivoting to Mayo in 2025.

Mayo was a sought-after head coaching candidate this past offseason when he was requested for an interview by the Carolina Panthers. Ultimately, he opted to stay with the Patriots, citing family reasons and the comfort of being a part of the organization, as reasons why he came to that decision.

It's entirely possible that Mayo could become a great head coach with the Patriots. After all, the defense is thriving this season. However, the Belichick coaching tree has been far from successful.

There have been 10 assistant coaches under Belichick who received NFL head coaching jobs, with only one being currently active (Brian Daboll with the New York Giants). Out of them all, they held a 222-307-1 record as of Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season. As for the playoffs, all coaches from the Belichick coaching tree have a combined 3-6 record as head coach. Certainly not ideal.

Mayo could be the outlier of the Belichick coaching tree in terms of success. He'll jut need to receive his chance. But a Graziano lays out, there needs to be a plan to fix the offense. After all, they are in a position to pick in the top three in the 2024 NFL Draft and could land one of the top quarterback prospects in either USC's Caleb Williams or North Carolina's Drake Maye.

While nothing is officially confirmed, the most likely replacement for Belichick could be Mayo.

Next. Redrafting the first five quarterbacks taken in 2023. Redrafting the first five quarterbacks taken in 2023. dark