NFL Rumors: Bill Belichick Thought Joining This Team Would Be ‘Sticking It’ to Robert Kraft

An explosive ESPN report offers new insight into Bill Belichick's failed coaching search, including his thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys.

Revenge apparently wasn’t far from Bill Belichick’s mind after he parted ways with the New England Patriots.

ESPN on Wednesday published an explosive report on Belichick’s failed job search this offseason. The piece, compiled by Don Van Natta Jr., Seth Wickersham, and Jeremy Fowler, also offers insight into teams that interested Belichick in January and that could be on his wish list next year.

How Bad Blood Fueled Bill Belichick’s Cowboys Interest

ESPN’s report details the bitterness between Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who lost faith in the legendary head coach over the last few seasons.

Kraft reportedly condemned Belichick during a mid-January conversation with Falcons owner Arthur Blank, with the review playing a role in Atlanta not hiring the 72-year-old. The Patriots strongly denied the report, but acknowledged Kraft might’ve been critical of Belichick during pre-January talks with Blank.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Kraft’s negative remarks about Belichick during Apple TV’s controversial “The Dynasty” docuseries have drawn criticism, as has his overall handling of Belichick’s departure.

“A lot of people are pissed,” a Belichick confidant told ESPN. “His name was smeared.”

That brings us to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Washington Commanders, and Philadelphia Eagles reportedly all showed varying degrees of interest in Belichick this offseason. The interest was mutual in most cases, but Belichick had his eyes on a franchise that stood by its head coach despite rumors of a potential firing.

“Dallas was another potential suitor,” ESPN wrote. “On paper, the Cowboys seemed to make sense: Belichick and Jerry Jones are decades-long friends, and both are in win-now mode. Nobody is better than Belichick at converting a talented roster into a championship team.

“And Belichick told a friend that he liked the idea of sticking it to the Krafts by working for Jones. But Jones, for all his flash, bluster and vows this offseason to go ‘all-in,’ is change-averse when it comes to head coaches. He decided quickly after Dallas’ blowout exit in the wild-card round to let Mike McCarthy coach the final year of his contract.”

McCarthy is locked in as Dallas’ head coach in 2025. But if McCarthy fails, Belichick could give the Cowboys a call — with an eager Jones on the other line.

Will Belichick Coach in 2025?

Belichick will be busy in 2024. He’ll appear on Pat McAfee’s broadcast of the 2024 NFL Draft, and ESPN reported he soon will join Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions company. Belichick also is writing a book on football leadership and business.

But what about next year? Will Belichick return to the sideline in pursuit of Don Shula’s all-time wins record?

Some reportedly believe he’ll never coach again, that he and his old-school leadership style have been “voted off the island.” But Belichick wants to continue coaching, and three NFC East teams are on his wish list.

“He is believed to be biding his time until next January for openings on teams he has told confidants he would be interested in coaching: the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants,” ESPN wrote.

“A source who spoke with a longtime friend of Belichick said the friend wonders if the coach will have another opportunity: ‘I don’t think Bill Belichick will ever be a head coach again in the National Football League,’ the friend said. ‘Unless it’s [for] Jerry Jones.'”

Patriots fans surely wish it never came to this. In a perfect world, Tom Brady never would’ve left, and Belichick still would be in New England.

However, with Kraft partly to blame, the horse is out of the barn. This soap opera gets juicier by the day, and there might be plenty of story left.

KEEP READING: Why NFL Teams Have Said No to Bill Belichick

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