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Packers legend and Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler names best landing spot for Bill Belichick after Patriots exit

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The New England Patriots parted ways with six-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick early Thursday morning, confirming the season-long speculation that the future Hall of Famer’s time in New England was coming to an end after 24 seasons.

“For me, this is a day of gratitude and celebration,” Belichick said during a press conference after the news broke.

Robert Kraft embraces Bill Belichick

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, left, hugs head coach Bill Belichick during a press conference at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 11, 2024, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Belichick announced that he was stepping down after 24 seasons with the team. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

“We had a vision of building a championship football team here. That’s exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations, the amount of success that we were able to achieve together through a lot of hard work and the contributions of so many people. I’m very proud of that, and I’ll always have those great memories. I’ll carry those with me for the rest of my life.” 

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But at 71, Belichick isn’t putting down the clipboard just yet, unlike longtime friend Nick Saban who just a day earlier announced his retirement from college football.

“I will always be a Patriot. I look forward to coming back here. But, at this time, we’re going to move on. I look forward, am excited for the future.” 

As soon as news broke of Belichick’s exit, rumors of where the head coach would land next immediately followed.

Hall of Fame safety and legendary Green Bay Packers icon LeRoy Butler believes one vacancy makes sense above the rest.

LeRoy Butler is embraced by fans

Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler celebrates with fans during halftime of the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Nov. 17, 2022. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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“He’s got 15 wins to be the all-time winningest coach. He’s going to get that,” Butler told Fox News Digital, adding that he was “shocked” by the announcement on Thursday.

“I think he’ll be with the Titans,” Butler added. “Not only will he be one of the highest-paid coaches, it’ll be a three-year deal to make sure he gets those 15 wins.”

In one of the more shocking shake-ups following the end of the regular season, the Tennessee Titans announced Tuesday that they would be parting ways with head coach Mike Vrabel after six seasons. 

Vrabel, who won three Super Bowls while playing for the Patriots, led the Titans to a last-place finish in the AFC South with a 6-11 record. The Titans made three postseason appearances during his tenure, including the AFC Championship game in the 2019 season.

Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel walk together

General manager Ran Carthon of the Tennessee Titans, left, talks with head coach Mike Vrabel prior to the game against the Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sept. 24, 2023. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

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Butler believes the Titans’ current roster, coupled with the fact that Belichick has ties to the Carthon family, makes Tennessee the “perfect fit” for him. A top-10 pick in the upcoming draft and entering the off-season with the second-most cap space also helps. 

“He’ll go back to New England when he retires, and they’ll put his name up and ‘Hail to the King.’ He’ll be in the Hall of Fame. But he must go to the Titans. I would not go to the NFC if I were him. Stay in the AFC, and if you play New England, you run up the score. But I think he’ll be with the Tennessee Titans.”

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Belichick needs just 15 wins to surpass Don Shula’s all-time record of 347 in the regular season and playoffs. Achieving that will certainly factor into where he lands next.

Bill Belichick stands on the sidelines

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots walks the sidelines during the game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Jan. 7, 2024. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

In addition to the Titans, the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers are among the top destinations being floated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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