Bill Belichick Says Resigning from Jets to Quickly Join Patriots Was One of 'Great Moments of My Career'

Georgia Slater
·2 min read

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Bill Belichick is reflecting on his famous resignation from the New York Jets, marking it as one of the highlights of his career.

While it doesn't remain a fond memory for the New York team, Belichick told WEEI Sports Radio this week that his decision to step away from the Jets and move forward with the New England Patriots was one he will never forget.

"Well, not only one of the most defining, but you know, one of the great moments of my career," he said Tuesday. "That combined with Robert [Kraft] giving me the opportunity to come here, I couldn’t have asked for anything more."

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In January 2000, one day after Belichick was hired as the Jets head coach, he broke the news to team officials during a press conference that he would be stepping down by writing so on a piece of paper, according to CBS Sports.

Three weeks later, Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, made a trade to secure Belichick as New England's head coach.

"That wasn’t a good situation for me and I didn’t want to be part of it, so I wasn’t," Belichick explained of leaving the Jets. "The other half of that was Robert giving me the opportunity to come here and trading, he gave up quite a bit to get me to come here, and that was a big trade."

Belichick, 68, has now served as head coach for New England for 20 years. Under his leadership, the team has won six Super Bowl titles, making him one of the most successful NFL coaches ever.

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"I appreciate all the support from Robert, the Kraft family, the Patriots organization, and all the New England fans," he continued.

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"I’ll keep trying to do my best for this team, and this organization, giving the very best that I can. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to come here, and I just wasn’t going to stay there in that situation," he added to WEEI.

According to the NFL, the Jets have only won one AFC East title and made six playoff appearances since Belichick resigned.