Robert Kraft Patriots
Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates on Cambridge street during the New England Patriots Victory Parade on February 05, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images


  • Sources claim that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick have friction
  • Kraft has repeatedly stressed his desire to win "number seven"
  • Belichick has struggled to find success since losing Tom Brady

The New England Patriots' stature as one of the best teams in the NFL has taken a massive hit since winning their sixth Super Bowl ring in the 2018 season, and there is growing belief that now-legendary head coach Bill Belichick might not be the one on the sidelines soon.

Sources report that there has been a growing rift between Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, particularly since this past March, but the talk regarding the former's future in New England was restarted last week.

When asked what will make Kraft happy, the 82-year-old was quoted to have said "number seven," regarding the Patriots adding to the six Lombardi trophies already in their cabinet.

Additionally, Krafted has been hinting at the situation since March during his press conference at the 2023 NFL Owner's Meetings.

"I'd like him to break Don Shula's record, but I'm not looking for any of our players to get great stats. We're about winning, and doing whatever we can to win. And that's what our focus is now. And I—it's very important to me that we make the playoffs, and that's what I hope happens next year," Kraft declared.

It was in 2019 when the Patriots' seemingly unending run of success came to a screeching halt after being forced out of the playoffs by the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round despite having the best record in the AFC East at 12-4.

That season also marked Tom Brady's departure from the only franchise he had ever known at that point and it left the Patriots spiraling out of control as they missed out on the playoffs entirely in 2020.

2021 saw some daylight for New England fans as they finished second in the division which was enough to make the playoffs, but ran into the buzzsaw that was Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills who treated them to a 47-17 beatdown in the Wild Card.

This past season was not any better as the Patriots struggled to put together a decent offense under the guidance of both Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.

Since Brady decided to skip town three years ago, New England has not looked like a team ready to win another Super Bowl and their lack of form had some wondering whether it was the San Mateo, California native's play on the field that made Belichick a legend or the other way around.

With Kraft's comments, anything less than a Super Bowl appearance this season might see Belichick being shown the exit door–and that may inevitably lead to more questions than answers in their pursuit of the owner's goal of "number seven."

Bill Belichick New England Patriots
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots walks off of the field after losing to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Nov. 3, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland. Will Newton/Getty Images