Three weeks ago, a report on NFL Media created the vague impression that Bill Belichick has a sufficiently “lucrative” contract that makes firing him impractical. Today, NFL Media added some more details to that prior report.
Via Ian Rapoport, it’s a new contract covering only this year and next year. So, basically, it’s no impediment whatsoever to owner Robert Kraft firing Belichick, today, tomorrow, or after the season.
Rapoport also floated the idea that the Patriots won’t be inclined to fire Belichick during the season given the possibility that (as mentioned here a few times recently) someone else might be willing to give the Patriots compensation in order to secure the contractual rights to Belichick.
So that’s the full context. With only one year of future compensation owed to Belichick, Kraft won’t think twice about moving on, if he decides it’s time for a new coach — and if another team doesn’t express interest in trying to hire Belichick.
And here’s the most important aspect of all of this. Belichick and the Patriots didn’t sign an extension. It was a new contract. Which means he was a free agent. He could have gone elsewhere.
Currently, he might wish he had.