Despite not satisfying the Rooney Rule, the Falcons and Bill Belichick seem headed toward a deal, sources tell SportsTalkATL.
Sources say Belichick to Atlanta is just about a done deal
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) January 19, 2024
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.
The Atlanta Falcons have Bill Belichick as their top candidate, flying him into Atlanta on one of Arthur Blank's private planes last night.
Dinner last night, more meetings to come, per multiple sources.
— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) January 19, 2024
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.
NEW: Things are heating up with Bill Belichick and the #Falcons. A source tells me members of Belichick’s potential staff have already been reaching out to Falcons to inquire about personnel.
— Maria Martin (@Ria_Martin) January 19, 2024
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.
Photographer: Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire