Belichick’s long-term tenure remains unknown

Since this is New England, and we as New Englanders have trouble lingering in enjoyable moments simply to savor them, Sunday’s Patriots win became old news in less than a half-hour.

Then came the full-bore discussion of Bill Belichick’s contract extension … or new deal … or whatever Belichick and Robert Kraft agreed to over the off-season.

Is it long-term, as in three, or four, or 100 years? 

Is it simply ensuring his salary, if not his presence, through 2024?

Is it all a jumbo nothing sandwich that really means absolutely nothing?

Let’s go with the jumbo nothing sandwich.

This is not complicated. All coaches sign contracts. Sometimes they actually sign multiple contracts with the same team.

Then there is Bill Belichick, who goes 6-3 in Super Bowls and is with one team long enough for a generation of fans to believe no one else has ever been head coach of the Patriots.

But, be it Belichick or Rod Rust, coaching contracts ensure nothing beyond a team’s financial obligation. A coach can be paid for coaching, or he can be paid after being tossed out the door.

Sunday’s was Belichick’s 300th career win as an NFL head coach. It is easy to forget that 36 of those wins came with the Cleveland Browns. When they skipped town they did not bring Belichick with them to Baltimore.

If Kraft tires of Belichick, there will be a new head coach. If Belichick grows tired of New England, there will be a new head coach.

There is lots of money involved, though as the letters on this keyboard are hunted and pecked, exactly how much is not known to anyone outside the principals

As always, the response here is: Who cares? It ain’t my money.

If the Pats are winless the remainder of the season – not just winless, but completely lacking in any redeemable qualities – the head coach/general manager must bear responsibility. The possible results of such irresponsibility are fairly limited.

You fire him and pay him … you keep him and snarl at him … you reduce or eliminate his ability  to make or approve all personnel decisions.

It is unknown whether Belichick would stick around with such a reduction in power. Maybe he’d shrug it off with “owner’s decision,” take the money and continue on. Maybe he’d tell Kraft he is a fool and demand lots of money on his way out to Route 1. 

Sunday’s game was the most entertaining exhibition at Gillette Stadium since Tom Brady walked out the door. The win was the most glittering, even with its imperfections, of Mac Jones’ career.

It put to rest the notion that the Patriots are tanking to improve their position in the NFL Draft, if ever there was any chance of that happening.

Now it’s on to Miami.

And to another review of all these questions.