Robert Kraft Reportedly Warned Falcons Owner Not to Trust Bill Belichick


Sep 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline as they take on the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

(Boston, MA) – For the first time since Y2K was a concern, Bill Belichick will not be coaching in the NFL when the upcoming season officially kicks off.

And while Belichick and the New England Patriots officially parted ways “mutually,” a report now suggests Pats’ owner Robert Kraft is still making an impact on the legendary coach’s employment status.

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For a while this offseason it appeared Belichick was going to become the Atlanta Falcons head coach. He met with team owner Arthur Blank twice, and things seemed to be moving in that direction. Then, suddenly, Belichick was out and Raheem Morris was in. Belichick was left standing while the NFL’s game of musical chairs played itself out. The league’s second all-time winningest head coach has no job for the 2024-2025 season.

So how did Kraft reportedly play a role in Belichick’s future (or lack thereof) in Atlanta? According to ESPN, Kraft contacted Blank “to warn him not to trust Bill.” A source further alleges that Kraft was “a big part” of Atlanta’s decision not to hire Belichick.

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ESPN goes on to say the 72-year-old Belichick was “blindsided” not to get the Falcons job. The publication’s source further says Kraft told Blank “you’ll never have a warm conversation with”

Belichick, and that “[Kraft] found Bill to be extremely difficult and obstinate and kind of stubborn and, in the end, not worthy of his trust. And also very, very, very arrogant.”

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While some may see Kraft’s alleged conduct as the ultimate betrayal, the same source that spoke to ESPN suggested Kraft and his son Jonathan (who is the Patriots president) both felt “betrayed” by the coach. That may have something to do with an earlier ESPN report that said Belichick was hesitant to bench QB Mac Jones as a way to stick it to Kraft.

“I don’t think they’d try to hurt Belichick,” the source who spoke to ESPN said. “But I don’t think they’d try to help him either. They weren’t going to try to sink him. He was finished as an effective head coach. Just look at his last four years in New England. A disaster … If you’re Arthur Blank, why do you want the headaches?” Plus, the source contends, Tom Brady leaving New England and winning a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay afterward still stings. “If Bill goes on to have success and Tom already had success, then who does [Kraft] have to blame?”

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In a statement, Patriot’s spokeswoman Stacey James denied ESPN had the story correct: “Robert steadfastly denies saying anything negative to Arthur Blank about Bill Belichick after Robert and Bill mutually agreed to part ways. In fact, Robert advocated for Bill to get the job.”

Meanwhile, it would seem Belichick is not content to embrace retirement. There will of course be more coaching gigs open next offseason. And ESPN says the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles are all places he’d like to end up.

Belichick first made a name for himself in the pro ranks as the Giants defensive coordinator under Bill Parcells in the 1980s and early 1990s.

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