Bill Belichick could remain free agent as Falcons head coach job is 'wide open': report

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When the Atlanta Falcons took a second meeting with Bill Belichik, there was strong thought the legendary head coach would fill the team’s vacancy following his departure from the New England Patriots. 

But ESPN’s Adam Schefter is hearing differently from sources at the moment, as the Falcons’ head coach search remains “wide open.”

Putting two and two together, Schefter thinks Belichick may not be the favorite after all in Atlanta. 

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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick before Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium in Houston on Feb. 5, 201. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports)

“They interviewed him for a second time last Friday in person,” Schefter said on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Thursday. “Since then, the Falcons have paraded through a series of candidates for second interviews and other interviews and scheduled more talks with other candidates. 

“That doesn’t sound like a team that’s ready to make a move on Bill Belichick.… If it’s wide open after you’ve met with Bill Belichick twice, that certainly tells you that he’s not the favorite for the job.”

After the Carolina Panthers made a surprise hire of Dave Canales to become their next head coach, only two other teams besides the Falcons still haven’t filled their spot: the Washington Commanders and Seattle Seahawks. 

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To Schefter, there is a “real possibility” that Belichick may not find a new home in the NFL for the 2024 season. 

“He has not talked to any of the other three teams,” Schefter said, which came before the Canales hire. “So, of the four teams with remaining openings, there’s the real possibility that he’s not going to get any of these head coaching jobs.”

Bill Belichick talks to the media

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during Super Bowl LI opening night at Minute Maid Park on Jan. 30, 2017. (Michael Madrid-USA Today Sports)

There was, however, a report from CBS Sports that said Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to “desperately” hire Belichick to fill the void. 

There is some speculation Belichick may want more control as he had with the Patriots, where he also served as GM. However, Belichick’s recent draft history hasn’t been the best, as well as free agent acquisitions in recent seasons. 

The 4-13 record the Patriots had led the 71-year-old to mutually part ways with the team he has led for the past 24 seasons. 

But the six Super Bowls and continuous domination in the AFC has many believing Belichick is the greatest coach of all time. He’s third all-time in wins with 302, and isn’t far behind Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318). 

Bill Belichick coaches in 2017

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Jan. 22, 2017. (Winslow Townson-USA Today Sports)

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The motivation is clearly still there for Belichick, but if he doesn’t find common ground with the Falcons, perhaps 2025 will need to be the year he returns to the sideline. 

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