The Washington Commanders sit at 4-6 with seven games to close out the 2023 regular season. While nothing has been set in stone, new owner Josh Harris made it clear he prioritizes winning over everything while noting he would evaluate the current staff after this season.
One coach who has a proven winning record with six Super Bowl rings as part of his resume is New England Patriots’ frontman Bill Belichick.
Rivera is widely respected throughout the league — but he has one Super Bowl appearance — and is 3-4 in the playoffs in his 13th season as an NFL head coach.
Washington has been the definition of mediocrity under Rivera. He holds a 26-33 overall record in his fourth year as head coach.
While the move to hire Eric Bienemy has clearly ignited the offense and development of Sam Howell, who currently leads the entire NFL in passing yards and ranks in the top 10 in most metrics like completion percentage and touchdowns, the defense morphed from an asset to a major issue.
Rivera, a defensive-minded head coach, and Jack Del Rio’s group has gone from No. 3 in the league to No. 29 after 10 weeks in 2023.
A major shakeup of the current regime seems inevitable barring a miracle turnaround with the Commanders somehow making the playoffs.
Earlier this week, rumors from legitimate NFL sources began to surface that now have fans and members of the media linking Belichick as the next Commanders’ coach in 2024.
Is Bill Belichick Done in New England?
Belichick has already achieved the milestone of his 300th victory this season. But according to recent reports, it’s beginning to seem inevitable another team may be in the market for his services.
The Athletic’s Diana Russini reported this last weekend, and ESPN’s Orlovsky elaborated on the theory on the Tuesday, November 14 edition of “The Pat McAfee Show.”
“I have heard that’s going to be the case, and it’s kind of, who knows the likelihood of it? But I’ve heard that’s going to happen. And I’ve heard the location is kind of already determined, as well,” said Orlovsky. “I’m not giving [names] — I just have heard that. …It’s people who know what they’re talking about.”
Those are two fairly bold reports from well-respected NFL reporters, and if Orlovsky’s admission that he’s heard the location has been determined, it only fuels the fire that Washington could be the eventual landing spot for Belichick in 2024.
Credible Media Linking Bill Belichick to Commanders
On Wednesday, November 15, a day after Orlovsky’s massive rumor, two of the biggest names in NFL media brought up the Belichick rumors to their guests, who both happened to also be plugged into NFL circles.
Dan Patrick asked longtime NFL Insider Albert Breer his thoughts on Orlovsky reporting there are rumors there is already a deal in place for the Patriots coach to leave after this season and there’s a new destination set for him to start fresh.
“I don’t know that a destination has been determined, I will say this though, the Washington stuff as been out there for a while,” Breer said. “It’s something that’s been talked about in NFL circles for more than the time than it’s been out there in the public.
“That one is interesting to me, because if you look at the history of things, Dan, like, we’ve seen owners bring in coaches with a track record… it’s generally a credibility play. Like Shad Khan needed credibility in Jacksonville so he brought in Tom Coughlin. At the beginning of Steve Ross’ ownership in Miami, they had Bill Parcells there as the football czar.
It would make sense if you’re trying to restore credibility to your organization if you’re Josh Harris, and Josh Harris would be able to negotiate this with the New England Patriots because he went to Harvard Business School with Jonathan Kraft and they have a relationship going back over 30 years. So there are some dots connecting there that make a lot of sense.”
Breer also notes the last two times New England has had coaching moves there was a trade involved.
“They went from dealing Bill Parcells to the Jets to hire Pete Carroll and when they brought Belichick in there was a trade involved with the Jets too. So it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some back channel communication toward the end of the season.”
Longtime NFL writer Peter King also brought up the Belichick situation on his November 15 podcast, and directly asked Myles Simmons of NBC Sports, where he believed the current Patriots’ frontman will be coaching next year.
“Where do you think we see Bill Belichick coaching, if anywhere, in 2024?” King asked.
“It’s interesting that you put the word coach in there because otherwise I might have said ESPN or NFL Network,” Simmons responded. “I guess Washington, perhaps, is the place that comes to mind because it would give that team that instant credibility, and that instant cache…that panache, whatever you want to call it, of having him as a coach.”
While there could be teams like the Chargers or Bears who have somehow already landed a deal in place with the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach, those are some credible names presenting rationale reasons why Belichick could very well coach the Commanders in 2024.