Bill Belichick is keeping his cards close to the vest when asked about that the future hold for him, Tom Brady and the rest of the New England Patriots as they embark on one of the more intriguing offseasons in recent memory. Just hours after his team fell to the Tennessee Titans on Wild Card Weekend, Belichick met with reporters on Sunday and noted in his opening statement that the team hasn’t focused on the future at this point.
“We’re less than 12 hours from the end of the game,” said the head coach, via Doug Kyed of NESN.com. “I’m sure there are a lot of questions about the future. Nobody’s thought about the future. Everybody’s been focused and working on Miami and then Tennessee. And that’s where all of the focus should have been and where it was. So, whatever’s in the future we’ll deal with at some later point in time. We’re certainly not going to deal with it now.”
Of course, all eyes are centered on quarterback Tom Brady, who is set to enter free agency for the first time in his 20-year NFL career. Brady indicated following the loss that it’s “pretty unlikely” that he would retire, so it appears like it’ll be up to the Patriots to see if they can bring him back to Foxborough for 2020 and possibly beyond. If not, there seems to be a legit chance TB12 is playing elsewhere next season. When asked if there was any sort of a timeline for when the organization will come to a decision on Brady, Belichick simply and swiftly answered, “No.”
“I honestly, look, I know it’s out there like there are a lot of other things out there,” Belichick said when pressed a bit further on the topic. “We could bring up 50 questions just like that one, and I told you what my state is on that. You can ask all 50 of them, and it’s going to be the same answer 50 times. We’ve been working on Tennessee. It’s 12 hours after the game. I’m not going to talk a lot of things about the future, because it’s not — I’m not prepared to talk about them.
“You could name 50 guys, 50 coaches, you could talk about anything you want in the future. They’re all questions that need to be answered at some point in time by the organization, by myself, by the coaching staff, by some of the players. But those are collective decisions that are not made by one person. They’re made collectively, and there’s a lot of time and thought and effort and communication that goes into that. Now is not the time.”
Belichick kept things on a pretty broad stroke and even wouldn’t fully say that he’ll be back in 2020, although it seems unlikely he’d walk away. New England has a number of important players set to hit the open market this offseason, including Brady, so they are looking at a potential transformative offseason. That’s not even mentioning the possibility of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels taking a head coaching job somewhere else in the league.
“Everybody’s situation on the team is different,” Belichick noted. “There are no two that are exactly the same, but the future’s the future for all of them just like it is for Tom and anybody else you want to bring up. Certainly, Tom is an iconic figure in this organization, and nobody respects Tom more than I do. I respect all of the other players and all of the other coaches in this organization too. I think that everybody that is part of it is an important part of it, and I want to give attention and communication and detail and thought into my input into those decisions. But any decision that’s made is — it’s not an individual decision.
“There are other people involved, so there has to be some type of communication and understanding, agreement, whatever you want to call it. That’s not a one-way street. I hope you can understand that. One person can’t decide what everybody else is going to do when players aren’t under contract, and we have a lot of players who aren’t under contract.”
Brady told reporters that he was unsure what the future hold for him as he is about to embark on uncharted waters. It appears like Bill Belichick is also walking into the unknown too.