I don't think we'll see Belichick totally mortgage the long-term at the expense of the short term.
1) Outside of Brady, the team is reasonably young. It's not like a Celtics situation where it's all old dudes.
2) QB is the most important position, but Belichick philosophically approaches it like it's just another position (hence me yelling at the TV with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter up 21 and Brady's still in there). Position-by-position, he assesses his short-term and long-term options and prioritizes accordingly. I don't think he subscribes to the belief that the Pats have no chance at a Super Bowl without Brady and all of their planning should depend on his projected window of effectiveness.
3) I don't think Belichick would shift into the GM role after retiring from coaching, but I do think he'll stay in the organization in some capacity. I don't think he'll want to screw the team over on the way out the door.
4) The Krafts are involved with some of the salary cap pieces and are going to have to sign off on short-term cap shenanigans that are going to damage the team long-term. I doubt they're willing to do that.
These are all very good points. Belichick has to be aware, though, of the difference in the narrative of his legacy should he win another Super Bowl versus if he does not. Insofar as another win cements his place in football history, it makes the payoff that much greater. I could even imagine Kraft signing off on a move that he might not otherwise. I don't mean mortgaging the whole future, obviously--Kraft is a business man, after all--but precisely because they are only a piece or two away, they might see the cost-benefit analysis as favoring trading a future pick or something when they otherwise wouldn't.
Schilling knew that if he wove himself into Boston's narrative and won the World Series, that could maybe push him over the hump for the HoF, and that influenced his decision to come to Boston. Belichick, Brady and Kraft are looking for best team legacy ever. Uncommon stakes.
I'm a 100% against this. Every season is more or less equally important to me so I have very little interest in, for example, sacrificing wins in 2015 and 2016 to help the 2013 team win.
I haven't decided if I would be against it or not, myself. It just occurred to me to wonder if Belichick's incentive structure might be different given the phase of his career and the stakes.
Basically, I'm nerding out a bit.
Edited by Reverend, 26 January 2013 - 02:44 PM.