NFL Executive: “Falcons odds-on favorite for Bill Belichick”

NFL: NOV 18 Patriots at Falcons

The Falcons are officially in the market for a quarterback and head coach. We know Desmond Ridder isn’t the answer, and Arthur Smith was fired following the team’s embarrassing loss to the Saints.

The path that Atlanta takes to find a quarterback most likely depends on the head coach. A young, offensive-minded first-timer would probably prefer a first-round draft pick. On the other hand, if a veteran, proven head coach comes to Atlanta, he might prefer an equally proven signal caller.

I prefer the former, but it seems the feelings around the situation aren’t the same. Mike Sando of The Athletic predicts Bill Belichick to be the next head coach of the Falcons, noting an NFL exec sees them as the odds-on favorite for who many consider to be the GOAT.

Belichick to the Falcons: Before the Falcons’ 48-17 defeat to New Orleans on Sunday, execs thought coach Arthur Smith might remain in place, unless the Falcons could land Belichick. With Smith losing his job Sunday night, one domino in this prediction has already fallen. Glazer’s report on Belichick’s likely separation from the Patriots follows months of speculation that change is coming to New England.

“Belichick to Dallas is my sleeper,” another exec said, “but I’d make Atlanta the odds-on favorite for Bill, and the Chargers the odds-on favorite for Harbaugh.”

As of right now, Belichick and Ben Johnson are the betting favorites, but the former has been the only one connected to the Falcons. It wouldn’t be my preference for a multitude of reasons, but the rest of Sando’s piece is the primary factor.

Belichick would inherit a talented defense in Atlanta and an offense with better weaponry than his Patriots employ, but with a similarly problematic quarterback situation. Would you bet against the Belichick-coached Falcons winning the NFC South with, say, a minimum-salaried Russell Wilson behind center, handing off to Bijan Robinson and throwing play-action deep strikes?

If Belichick came to Atlanta, I believe the Falcons would just nab the best available veteran instead of moving mountains for one of Drake Maye, Caleb Williams, or Jayden Daniels. I want a long-term franchise quarterback, not one for a couple of seasons. As Sando continues, the presumed offensive coordinator doesn’t make this scenario any more enticing.

But if Falcons ownership expects Belichick and his presumed offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, to find a long-term quarterback, that could be problematic. McDaniels once used a first-round pick on Tim Tebow, then signed Jimmy Garoppolo this past offseason. Belichick used a first-round pick on Mac Jones. The post-Brady Patriots have started Cam Newton, Jones and Bailey Zappe.

Belichick, Wilson, and McDaniels is one hell of a trio… if it were 2015. The game has seemingly passed each man by, and the Falcons would be left trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I couldn’t hate this idea more.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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