Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel
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Bill Belichick, Mike Vrabel Snubs Speak Volumes About State of NFL

For the first time this century, Bill Belichick will not be an NFL head coach, and for the first time this decade, Mike Vrabel won't be either.

Dan Quinn's hiring as the Washington Commanders' head coach on February 1 ended an era. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport broke the news of the final head coaching hire of this year's cycle.

After eight different franchises passed on two of the more accomplished head coaches this millennium some clear truths were laid bear when it comes what owners and teams are actually looking for in the leaders of their organizations.

At first glance, it might have seemed unfathomable on January 24 when the Patriots parted company with Belichick that the coaching carousel would stop spinning without the six-time Super Bowl winning head coach landing a next destination. However, while Belichick's legacy as one of the greatest and most accomplished head coaches in the history of the sport is intact, his reputation as a head coach has been significantly dinged.

The combination of diminished results, failures of Belichick's top assistants at every head coaching stop outside of the fortress of Patriot Place, and a potential desire to maintain some semblance of personnel control over a next destination following the regression of the dynasty he built were obvious "cons" for owners around the league.

Not only did eight teams pass on hiring Belichick, but he was never even in the mix for the Seattle Seahawks or Washington Commanders, but teams such as the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys both retained their head coaches despite underwhelming finishes to 2023, rather than make a move to hire or even interview Belichick.

It's now apparent that Belichick's 47-57 record without Tom Brady, as he enters his age 72-year-old season, combined with recently overseeing a withering of the Patriots' roster compared to New England's AFC rivals were too big of a pair of albatrosses to overcome.

Meanwhile, Vrabel's firing by the Tennessee Titans sent shock waves throughout the NFL.

However, even though Vrabel posted a 54-45 record in six seasons as the Titans head coach, Tennessee made just three postseason appearances over that span with only two playoff wins.

Simply put, despite an abundantly talented defense, and a generational running back running behind a consistently dominant defensive line, Vrabel's brand of physical, old-school football perennially seemed to have a built in ceiling.

Teams across the league understand the known commodities that Belichick and Vrabel are at this stage of their respective careers.

Meanwhile, here are the new hires around the NFL this offseason:

Dan Quinn - Washington Commanders

Jim Harbaugh - Los Angeles Chargers

Raheem Morris - Atlanta Falcons

Dave Canales - Carolina Panthers

Jerod Mayo - New England Patriots

Antonio Pierce - Las Vegas Raiders

Brian Callahan - Tennessee Titans

Mike MacDonald - Baltimore Ravens

Only Quinn, Harbaugh, and Morris have any head coaching experience prior to the 2023 season. Likewise, both Quinn and Harbaugh have made a Super Bowl appearance, with the latter coming off a College Football Playoff National Championship.

Meanwhile, dating back to 2018 there have been six first-time head coaches who led their teams to a Super Bowl within five years of their hiring.

Put simply, teams took one look at Belichick and Vrabel's Resumés, including increasingly diminishing returns, and instead chose new philosophies, fresh ideas, and relatable personas to today's players over attempting to turn back the clock betting future returns on past results.

MORE: The Patriots Chose The Wrong Former Player To Replace Bill Belichick