Getty Bill Belichick could end up in Tampa Bay next.

Bill Belichick could follow in Tom Brady’s footsteps and leave the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

However, things could also happen very differently if two coaches are in the hot seat. Buccaneers insider Ira Kaufman recently discussed the possibility of Belichick joining the Buccaneers as his next coaching target on the “Ira Kaufman Podcast,” according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

The Patriots remain mired in a dismal season at 2-7, and Belichick could lose his job as head coach if the team loses to the Indianapolis Colts in Germany, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, remains mired in a four-game losing streak, which has reignited rumors of head coach Todd Bowles losing his job sooner or later.

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has ties to Belichick since their time in New England, something Kaufman and Co. have discussed, according to Florio. Licht served on player personnel with the Patriots in 2002 and 2009-2011 before joining the Buccaneers in 2014.

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According to Florio, the Kaufman Podcast team discovered that Licht and Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien have the same agent. The Buccaneers already had O’Brien on the offensive coordinator’s radar this year before he committed to New England.

Kaufman and Co. discussed that the Buccaneers had relied on well-known head coaches in the past, Florio wrote. That includes former Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, a recommendation from Belichick, and the franchise previously had Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden. Tampa Bay pursued Bill Parcells back in 2002, as well as Bill Cowher and Chip Kelly at various points.

Buccaneers have no current precedent for midseason shooting

Whether the Patriots fire Belichick soon and the Buccaneers fire Bowles quickly remains to be seen. As Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds noted, the Buccaneers’ current ownership has a history of not firing head coaches mid-season.

With that in mind, Kaufman described Bowles as “shocked” by his team’s performance against the Houston Texans, particularly the defense’s performance. Kaufman added that “something has to change” if the Buccaneers lose their fifth straight game to the Tennessee Titans in Week 10.

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If the Patriots part ways with Belichick after Germany, the team could turn to Jerod Mayo as interim coach, Volin reported. The Patriots insider stressed, “I don’t think Belichick is 100% complete this season” and that “there’s a chance the Krafts can make the move” during the bye week.

Buccaneers could get a new head coach with star wide receivers and new quarterback

According to podcast co-host Lee Diekemper and fellow wideout Chris Godwin, Licht’s indication that he plans to retain star wide receiver Mike Evans in 2024 gives an aspiring coach “a few carrots” to work with . The hosts also speculated that the Buccaneers might pursue a new quarterback in the draft instead of keeping Baker Mayfield next season, another incentive for an aspiring coach.

Tampa Bay is currently ranked 8th if the season ends today, which could provide a good quarterback. Michigan’s JJMcCarthy or Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. could easily go that far.

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On defense, the Buccaneers have had a strong unit over the last three seasons, and this year’s defense started strong before slipping recently. A new head coach could build on that.

Matthew Davis covers the NFL for, focusing on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers. He has also covered prep sports in Minnesota as a writer for the StarTribune since 2016. More about Matthew Davis

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