Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently told Peter King that Kraft “absolutely” believes coach Bill Belichick will return to the team in 2018. Putting it another way, and as it was put last night on NBC’s Football Night in America, there’s a “zero-point-zero percent” chance Belichick leaves.
Belichick, whose contractual details remain unknown by anyone beyond a very small circle, is bound to the Patriots for multiple years, we’re told. And while the puffed-up, Vegas-appropriate, 10-year, $100 million deal supposedly signed by Jon Gruden with the Raiders doesn’t match the $12.5 million or so per year that Belichick is believed to make, if Gruden with his one Super Bowl win and 45-51 record over his last six years in the league is worth $10 million per year, Belichick is grossly underpaid at $12.5 million annually.
Still, Belichick’s options ultimately are to coach the Patriots or to coach no one. Unless he’s ready to coach high school lacrosse (at considerably less than $12.5 million per year), Belichick isn’t going anywhere.
Then there’s this. The Patriots over an extended period have crafted a football infrastructure specifically to Belichick’s every whim and liking. Even if another team would make the investment necessary: (1) to get Belichick from the Patriots; (2) to pay Belichick what he’s worth in light of the Gruden deal; and (3) to write a check for whatever it would take to upgrade the facilities and football operations to Belichick’s specifications, how long would it take to get everything to where Belichick wants it to be?
Or, in other words, to the way he already has it in New England?