Falcons, Bill Belichick are clearly headed toward a deal

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Despite not satisfying the Rooney Rule, the Falcons and Bill Belichick seem headed toward a deal, sources tell SportsTalkATL.

On Thursday, we learned that the two sides would meet for a second interview following a one-on-one between Arthur Blank and Belichick. On Friday, Dianna Russini added detail to that meeting, noting that Belichick flew on one of Blank’s private planes for a dinner with more meetings to come.

It seems like a foregone conclusion that Bill Belichick will be the next head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, but I wouldn’t expect a deal anytime soon. The club has to meet with two external minority candidates in person before making a deal official.

However, that doesn’t mean the Falcons and Belichick don’t already have a verbal agreement. According to Maria Martin, a local Atlanta reporter, members of Belichick’s potential coaching staff have already reached out to the team to inquire about personnel.

The Rooney Rule is a great idea in theory, but oftentimes, owners will bypass the intended nature of the rule. Just look at the Chargers, who by all accounts had no interest in hiring David Shaw and Leslie Frazier. What makes this entire situation even more egregious is the Falcons’ history with the Rooney Rule.

In 2020, Falcons president Rich McKay addressed the NFL’s problems and the failure of diversity in the hiring process.

“The Rooney Rule when it was first brought in play, (Falcons owner) Arthur Blank was on the committee,” McKay said. “I was on the working group. It really did have the right intended impact. Then it definitely (has) not (had) the impact as of late. It needed to be modified in certain ways. I’m supportive of that.”

Regardless of how the Falcons comply with the Rooney Rule, it’s clear that it will be two interviews with no intention of giving those candidates a fair shot. Bill Belichick is going to be the next head coach. It’s just a matter of time before the sides are allowed to officially announce a deal.

Photographer: Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire

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