Bill Belichick coaching rumors: How Arthur Blank rejection could lead to Cowboys, Eagles in 2025

Bill Belichick was expected to land on his feet quickly after the Patriots fired him following the 2023 NFL season.

Instead, the 72-year-old failed to land an NFL head coaching job during the 2024 NFL offseason. There were seven openings across the league, but no team wanted to hire the second-winningest coach in NFL history.

At least one team appeared interested in the eight-time Super Bowl winner. The Falcons interviewed Belichick twice for their head coaching job, and it seemed like Belichick impressed owner Arthur Blank in their face-to-face meeting on Blank’s yacht.

“I think Blank came away from the boat thinking this is my guy,” a source close to Belichick told ESPN.

In the end, the Falcons hired Raheem Morris to coach the team. Belichick wasn’t even among Atlanta’s top three candidates for the job, as Mike Macdonald and Bobby Slowik rounded out the Falcons’ preferred candidates, per ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr., Seth Wickersham and Jeremy Fowler.

IYER: What’s next for Bill Belichick after not landing coaching job?

What led to Blank’s change of heart regarding Belichick? Patriots owner Robert Kraft — one of Blank’s closest friends in the league — may have played a role in Belichick’s inability to land a job. 

With Belichick losing out on the Falcons job, rumors have already emerged suggesting the Cowboys or Eagles could come calling if they struggle in 2024.

Bill Belichick, Arthur Blank interview

A myriad of factors went into Atlanta’s decision not to hire Belichick, per ESPN. Notably, team president and CEO Rich McKay and general manager Terry Fontenot were reluctant to work with Belichick. They were wary that he might rework the organizational power structure to be coach-centric.

Blank and Co. were also concerned with finding a long-term head coach rather than a short-term stopgap. At 72, Belichick might only coach a few more seasons before calling it quits, which would require the Falcons to execute another coaching search in the not-so-distant future.

But the most notable reason contributing to Atlanta’s decision to pass on Belichick? Kraft reportedly confided in Blank and was brutally honest about working with Belichick, per ESPN.

In a conversation with Blank, Kraft delivered a stark assessment of Belichick’s character, according to a source who spoke to two people: a close Kraft friend and a longtime Belichick confidant. The source quoted the Belichick source as saying, ‘Robert called Arthur to warn him not to trust Bill.’ That account was backed up, the source said, by the close Kraft friend.

That “was a big part” of why the Falcons looked elsewhere to fill their coaching vacancy, a source close to Belichick told ESPN.

MORE: Ranking the NFL’s 8 new head coach hires for 2024

Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft relationship

Kraft also detailed to Blank how difficult it can be to work with the long-time head coach.

“[Kraft] found Bill to be extremely difficult and obstinate and kind of stubborn and, in the end, not worthy of his trust,” another source close to Kraft told ESPN. “And also very, very, very arrogant.”

The same source wouldn’t say whether Kraft had warned Blank about Belichick’s trustworthiness; however, the source explained that the Krafts felt “betrayed” by Belichick but declined to elaborate further on what that meant.

“I don’t think they’d try to hurt Belichick,” he said. “But I don’t think they’d try to help him either. They weren’t going to try to sink him. He was finished as an effective head coach. Just look at his last four years in New England. A disaster … If you’re Arthur Blank, why do you want the headaches?”

This certainly paints a bleak picture of the troubled relationship between Kraft and Belichick that deteriorated after Tom Brady left New England, though it’s worth noting that Kraft denies having given Belichick a negative review after his firing.

“Robert steadfastly denies saying anything negative to Arthur Blank about Bill Belichick after Robert and Bill mutually agreed to part ways,” Patriots spokesperson Stacey James said. “In fact, Robert advocated for Bill to get the job.”

Perhaps Kraft expounded Belichick’s virtues in his assessment as well, but it appears that the owner’s review of his long-time coach played a role in Belichick being out of a head coaching job in 2024.

MORE: Mike Florio suggests a new consulting role for Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick Cowboys, Eagles rumors

The ESPN story also noted that the Cowboys and Eagles are among the teams that could be potential fits for Belichick in 2025 and beyond.

Dallas was long speculated as a potential landing spot given Belichick’s friendship with Jerry Jones and Mike McCarthy’s inability to guide the team on a long playoff run. That makes the Cowboys the best — and perhaps, only — fit for Belichick.

“I don’t think Bill Belichick will ever be a head coach again in the National Football League,” a friend of the coach said, per ESPN. “Unless it’s [for] Jerry Jones.”

The Eagles could have an interest in Belichick too, however. Philadelphia even considered pursuing him during the offseason but balked at the thought of parting with Nick Sirianni and Belichick making sweeping organization changes, per ESPN.

Owners and executives, even on teams that didn’t have openings, discussed hiring Belichick. Among them were the Eagles, who were coming off a disappointing finish one year after a narrow Super Bowl loss. Owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manger Howie Roseman, both Belichick fans, still strongly believed in their current head coach, Nick Sirianni, who over a stretch went 26-5. But Lurie thought it was worth asking a confidant of his about Belichick. A source close to Belichick said the coach would have been interested.

Roseman told ESPN he had a conversation with Belichick, a check-in to see how the coach was doing after he was out in New England. A source close to Belichick confirmed there was no talk during the call about working for the Eagles.

If either of these teams fails to live up to expectations in 2024, they could consider targeting Belichick to instill a program that gets the most out of each squad.

And while some personality and power-dynamic concerns may remain, Belichick’s stock could rise with a year out of football. He could benefit from the nostalgia effect of NFL decision-makers reliving his best moments, which could grant him an opportunity to coach a contender.

Belichick’s name will be involved in the coach hiring cycle either way. It’s just a matter of whether a team is willing to give him another shot.

Until then, he’ll bide his time working on TV. He is expected to join “The Pat McAfee Show” as a guest analyst for their NFL Draft coverage in 2024.

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