By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Super Bowl champion Patriots caught much of the football world off guard last week with a stunning flurry of significant moves just as NFL free agency kicked off. The big-money Stephon Gilmore signing and the Brandin Cooks swap for a first-round pick really signified that the Patriots are loading up the team for at least one more championship run.
But, as people like Max Kellerman are willing to speculate out loud, could Belichick be loading up for only one more run?
Kellerman offered his latest on the Patriots for ESPN’s First Take on Monday, suggesting that not only is Tom Brady still potentially on the way out after next season, but Belichick might walk off into the sunset with him.
“[Bill] Belichick knows that his and Brady’s days are numbered [in New England], obviously,” said Kellerman. “When does Belichick trade his highest available draft picks for the present? … Right now, he’s getting ready for his and Tom Brady’s swan song. My belief is that would be this season, maybe I’m wrong … but he knows that the end is coming.
“He is trading the future for the present, and there’s a reason for that.”
Meanwhile, fellow professional take-spitter Skip Bayless is in awe of what Belichick is doing. This is the same man who said that Belichick is not a great coach not long after the Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl under him and Brady.
“Coach Belichick has played this offseason like he’s trying to win his first Super Bowl instead of his sixth,” said Bayless on Fox’s Undisputed.
Ultimately, Kellerman’s latest on Belichick only ranks in the middle tiers of his hottest Patriots takes. It’s probably a little strong to suggest that Belichick would only be coaching one more season after signing Gilmore to a five-year deal, but it’s not wild to suggest that the 64-year-old could be on his way out in just a few short years. And Brady, although he continues to defy his critics, faces the toughest challenges yet after he turns 40 years old.
There’s no question that Belichick and the Patriots have had a shockingly aggressive offseason, regardless of the fact that they just won the Super Bowl less than six weeks ago. Whatever you think Belichick and Brady are loading up for, whether it’s 19-0 or one final season or just two or three more years, it can’t be disputed that they’re loading up to get at least one more Super Bowl.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.