Now that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones opted to keep embattled coach Mike McCarthy, who will be the clear-cut favorite to be the first NFL coach fired in the 2024 season, perhaps the ideal landing spot for future Hall of Fame coach Bill Belichick has been eliminated, as the Cowboys are Super Bowl ready. The Atlanta Falcons are not, but Belichick will have a second interview with the club and BetMGM lists Atlanta as +140 favorites to be his next team – although not coaching in Week 1 next season is also +140.
Belichick met with team owner Arthur Blank on Monday night, and GM Terry Fontenot and CEO Rich McKay are expected to be a part of the second meeting. CBS Sports' Josina Anderson tweeted that she expects Belichick to be named Falcons head coach:
"Barring a snag in negotiations or a future development (still have to get a signature), I'm expecting Bill Belichick to become the next head coach of the NFC South Atlanta Falcons," Anderson wrote. "His previous rapport with Falcons CEO Rich McKay creates comfort he can't mimic in any other building with a current vacancy. Owner Arthur Blank is very skilled at being convincing and selling the benefits of coming to Atlanta—as I learned from Calais Campbell."
Atlanta finished with exactly seven wins in each of the past three seasons under former head coach Arthur Smith, who was fired. The roster is actually quite good overall with some excellent young talent at running back (Bijan Robinson), tight end (Kyle Pitts) and receiver (Drake London) – all former top-10 picks – along with a very good offensive line and a solid defense. With Belichick turning 72 in April, he doesn't have time for a rebuild and likely wants to walk into a win-now situation to win a seventh Super Bowl ring -- and tie his former QB Tom Brady's record.
The one thing the Falcons obviously lack is a quarterback, and they surely aren't getting one who is ready to win immediately with the No. 8 overall pick. There has been talk of potentially trading for Bears quarterback and Georgia native Justin Fields, but he has yet to prove he can win consistently in the NFL.
Of course, Belichick's Patriots staged the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history following the 2016 season, rallying from down 28-3 late in the third quarter to beat Atlanta in overtime. The Falcons have never won a championship. If you're wondering, the Falcons don't play the Patriots in 2024, but the teams will meet in Foxborough in 2025.
Former Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson makes a ton of sense with the Broncos expected to release him. Yes, they made noise about keeping Wilson for the 2024 season, but you don't bench a player of his stature and still keep him on the roster the next year. While Fields might cost a second-round pick, Wilson would only cost money and probably not too much with all the guaranteed cash the Broncos still owe him.
One odds source lists Atlanta as the +175 favorite to be Wilson's team for Week 1 of the 2024 season, followed by Las Vegas (+300), New England (+750) and Pittsburgh (+750). Wilson would have two Super Bowl rings if not for the most untimely interception in Super Bowl history in the final seconds of XLIX against Belichick's Pats.
The Falcons also interviewed Jim Harbaugh, but he's expected to land with the Los Angeles Chargers if he leaves Michigan. BetMGM has odds on that as well with Michigan a +175 favorite as Harbaugh's team in 2024, followed by the Chargers (+225) and then the Falcons (+600).
Via BetMGM: Bill Belichick's next team
Will not be coach Week 1 in 2024
Any other NFL team not listed
Giants (job not currently open)
Saints (job not currently open)
Jets (job not currently open)
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