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    What’s Next for Bill Belichick After Atlanta Falcons Pass on Living Legend?

    Bill Belichick's career could have involuntarily ended Thursday when the Atlanta Falcons passed on him for Raheem Morris as their next head coach.

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    The music has nearly stopped, and Bill Belichick — arguably the greatest coach to ever put on a headset — doesn’t have a chair.

    When the Atlanta Falcons picked Rams assistant Raheem Morris — and not Belichick — as their next head coach Thursday, it may have unofficially ended Belichick’s storied coaching career.

    Will Bill Belichick Retire?

    After a mutual parting of ways with the Patriots after a quarter century in New England, Belichick found a more tepid than expected market for his services.

    Eight teams had openings this cycle, including the Patriots, who made longtime Belichick lieutenant and internal candidate Jerod Mayo their new head coach.

    The Falcons — who seemed close to picking Belichick before ultimately landing on Morris — became the sixth to fill theirs. That decision left just the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Commanders as the only teams without a coach.

    Belichick hasn’t interviewed for either of those jobs, and considering they both moved on from late-in-their-career coaches in Ron Rivera and Pete Carroll, the expectation is both will target younger candidates for their hires.

    So Belichick probably has three options at this point: Take a year off and try television again, or land with a team as a coordinator.

    Option 3 probably gives the eight-time Super Bowl champion his best chance to get another job as a head coach.

    But it seems beneath the second-winningest coach in NFL history.

    Only Don Shula has more career victories than Belichick (347 to 333, including the postseason), and after Thursday’s news, the late Miami Dolphins icon’s record seems safe.

    (That surely is comforting to Shula’s family; the Dolphins legend, before his death, famously referred to Belichick derisively as “Belicheat.”)

    The mind reels when you imagine Shula hanging on as a Jets assistant in 1996. Belichick, who has a keen sense of history, surely knows the optics of him doing something similar would be discordant.

    So, while some modern-day Dolphins fans would love for Belichick to come to Miami to fill the recently vacated defensive coordinator position, the idea seems far-fetched.

    Far more likely? Belichick, 71, has a second act as a broadcaster. While he made his Patriots news briefings intentionally unusable for reporters, Belichick is quite gregarious on television when he wants to be.

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    It’s far easier to envision one of the networks snapping him up, assuming he is indeed taking a year (or more) off from coaching.

    If Belichick’s coaching career is over, he finishes with the most Super Bowl wins (eight, including two as an assistant), most Super Bowl appearances (12), most playoff wins as a head coach (31), and most division championships as a head coach (17).

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