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Is There Interest from Commanders in Bill Belichick?

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The scope of the 2024 coaching cycle is yet unknown, but it has been assumed for quite some time that Ron Rivera‘s tenure with the Commanders is set to come to an end. In the likely event Washington moves on from the veteran staffer, new owner Josh Harris will be a key figure to watch.

Rivera was believed to have entered the 2023 season – the first after Harris’ purchase of the franchise from Dan Snyder – on the hot seat. Plenty depended on the progress of first-year starter Sam Howell under center, but things have not gone according to plan on that front. With Harris in place to bring in his own hires on the sidelines and in the front office, attention will no doubt soon turn to replacement options in both capacities.

One candidate hypothetically capable of wearing both hats in a new environment is Bill Belichick. The six-time Super Bowl winner may very well have seen his Patriots tenure come to an end on Sunday, meaning he could be available to any number of interested suitors. One of those is Harris and the Commanders, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Belichick’s time with New England has not officially ended, but a mutual parting of ways between he and Patriots owner Robert Kraft would come as little surprise at this point. Questions have been raised regarding how many teams would be interested in the 71-year-old, but he has recently been linked to openings in the NFC South as well as the Raiders. As Florio notes, a central point in any Commanders-Belichick partnership would be the amount of control he would have within the organization.

Belichick has served as the Patriots’ head coach but also their de facto general manager during his tenure, something which be a challenge to duplicate in a new environment. The presence of Harris, signficant cap space, and a high draft selection in the 2024 draft are factors which could make the Commanders gig an attractive one. It remains to be seen, however, if Belichick would entertain a rebuilding effort over a situation better situated for a win-now approach.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network writes Washington is in fact “not likely” to pursue Belichick, and a younger option (especially one with a background on offense aimed at developing Howell or a new quarterback) would likely make more sense than the vaunted defensive mind. Likewise, Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano points to a Belichick deal being unlikely. He adds that a new general manager (presuming Martin Mayhew is indeed let go) is expected to be in place before a Rivera replacement is hired.

As such, the future for Belichick – a native of Annapolis, Maryland – may not include an arrangement sending him to the nation’s capital. In any case, he could be a major domino with respect to the 2024 hiring cycle if he finds himself joining a new team this offseason. With plenty of other options to consider, the Commanders will of course also be a team to monitor over the coming days and weeks.

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