Bill Belichick somehow makes infamous Jets resignation sting worse

Bill Belichick doesn’t regret his awkward Jets exit. In fact, the six-time Super Bowl champ looks back fondly at the moment he quit being the team’s head coach.

Speaking on the “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria” radio program on WEEI in Boston Tuesday, the Patriots coach reminisced on his bizarre one-day stint as the Jets’ head coach and the infamous press conference that culminated it.

“Well, not only one of the most defining, but you know, one of the great moments of my career,” he said. “That combined with Robert [Kraft] giving me the opportunity to come here, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. That wasn’t a good situation for me, and I didn’t want to be part of it, so I wasn’t.”

Belichick’s chance to be the Jets’ head coach came after the retirement of Bill Parcells, for whom the younger Bill served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for Gang Green. The plan to eventually elevate Belichick’s role was baked into his contract, with owner Leon Hess even giving him a $1 million bonus at one point to stay put.

When Hess passed away before the 1999 season, however, Belichick felt his future as the franchise’s head coach became murky, citing the “various uncertainties surrounding my position” with the team’s ownership in limbo.

“Essentially the problem I had with the whole arrangement eventually was when all of this transpired there was no owner,” Belichick said in ESPN’s “The Two Bills.” “Mr. Hess passed away before the ’99 season. There were two potential owners and that was [Woody] Johnson and [Charles] Dolan. I hadn’t spoken with either one, but I had issues with both, and it wasn’t Mr. Hess anymore, which was the original agreement or the original context we talked about. That whole ownership configuration at that point in time was a major factor in my decision much more than a personal relationship.”

Belichick’s resignation — reportedly scrawled first on a napkin — set the rival franchises on very different paths.

Belichick would win his first of six Super Bowl rings in his second season in New England (2001), while the Jets haven’t made it past the the AFC Championship in that time span.

Belichick seems to be at peace with the decision. The same likely isn’t true for Jets fans.

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