The Highest-Paid Coach in Sports Is Poised to Be NFL’s All-Time Loser

Bill Belichick is also on the verge of getting $25 million to not coach the Patriots

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.
Bill Belichick will probably not be back with the Patriots.
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“Barring a miracle,” Los Angeles coach Brandon Staley will not be coaching in Los Angeles next season as his team (4-7) has been an abject failure this season despite having top-tier talent on both offense and defense, according to Yahoo Sports. The Chargers, who have a star quarterback in Justin Herbert, have been particularly bad on defense — Staley’s supposed area of expertise — as LA has allowed the most yards (390.6 per game) and eighth-most points (23.5 per game) in the NFL this season.

On Sunday, Staley may face the only coach in the NFL whose seat is hotter than his when the Chargers travel across the country to visit New England for a date with the Patriots and Bill Belichick. The Chargers, who are favored by almost a touchdown despite playing on the road, still have something to play for as they are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot and should leave with their fifth win of the season. If that happens, the Patriots will depart with their 10th loss of the season and Belichick will vacate with his 162nd career loss as a coach in the regular season, three shy of the all-time record of 165 that is shared by Dan Reeves (190-165-2) and Jeff Fisher (173-165-1).

On the other side of the ledger, Belichick has 300 career wins and the regular season and is 28 shy of tying Don Shula in that category. The wins in the regular season are the biggest reason why Belichick, whose 31 playoff victories are nine more than any other coach, is so close to matching the losses record because he’s been able to coach for 29 seasons split between Cleveland (five) and New England (24).

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If things keep going the way they have in New England season, Belichick’s 30th season as a coach will not come with the Patriots as he will be fired at the end of the year, if not beforehand. Should that happen, the Kraft family will have to pay out the highest salary in pro sports for a coach — $25 million — for Belichick to not coach football for their team. Of course, there’s always the chance that the Krafts hold their water and don’t fire Belichick and attempt to trade him, and his contract, during the offseason and the possibility that he resigns and forfeits his remaining cash.

It’s a fascinating situation because the more 71-year-old Belichick loses, the closer he gets to the all-time record for losses as well as to getting fired and collecting $25 million for doing nothing next season. And, depending on the language in his contract, there’s the possibility that he’d still collect his $25 million if he gets a job with another team and is able to continue chasing Shula for the all-time wins record.

A perfect landing spot for him to do that would be with a team with a star quarterback and some elite pieces. In other words, in Los Angeles with the Chargers when, probably not if, Staley is fired. Staley doesn’t have 300 career wins or six Super Bowls so he’ll certainly be coaching to win on Sunday. The same cannot necessarily be said of Belichick.

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