NFL Rumors: Patriots ideal Bill Belichick replacement is off the table

The New England Patriots and Bill Belichick could part ways after this season, but one ideal replacement is off the table.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick may not be with the team much longer. While Belichick is a surefire Hall of Famer and arguably the best coach of all time, the Patriots have struggled mightily since Tom Brady left the franchise. A great quarterback often masks the flaws of any head coach, even the best in the business.

Belichick's way of doing things is boderline micromanaging. It's why his teams are so well-versed when things are going well, and why his assistants are incompetent when hired elsewhere. In the end, they all come crawling back.

Per Dianna Russini of The Athletic, the expectation around the league is that Belichick and the Patriots will part ways after the season. With that in mind, Russini took one potential replacement off the board, saying that former Patriots Super Bowl champion Mike Vrabel will not replace Belichick if he indeed leaves.

"A similar picture is taking shape in New England, where most believe at the end of this season there will be a mutual parting of ways," Russini wrote. "The Patriots aren’t trading for Vrabel if they and Belichick part ways. Nothing has changed there."

NFL Rumors: If not Mike Vrabel, then who will replace Bill Belichick?

The favorite on the current Patriots coaching staff to replace Belichick if he indeed does leave in Jerod Mayo, a former New England player who Belichick has taken under his wing. Mayo would be a candidate elsewhere if the Patriots were to let him go, and is considered by many as the coaching in waiting.

Still, a formal interview process has yet to take place, and the Patriots will surely cast a wide net if Belichick leaves. Replacing Belichick is hard enough. Finding a head coach candidate who is willing to follow the best to ever do it -- and the pressure that comes with that title -- would not be easy.