Happy Thanksgiving From Bill Belichick: Patriots Coach Waives Key Player On Turkey Day

Bill Belichick apparently isn’t very sentimental on Thanksgiving.

The New England Patriots coach waived one of his main special teams players on the holiday, waiving safety Don Jones go ahead of a key meeting with the Green Bay Packers.

Jones worked on nearly every unit on special teams, covering punts and kicks and also working on then the punt return unit. The move seemed a bit curious given the production the team was getting out of Jones, leading some to believe that Bill Belichick expects Jones will clear waivers and allow the team to fill a short-term need.

There is also speculation that Belichick may have waived Jones for a non-football-related reason.

While beloved by many of his players, Bill Belichick doesn’t exactly have a warm and fuzzy reputation. He has been known to be curt with the media, and recently former Patriots coach Bill Parcells detailed a feud he had with Belichick. At the time, Parcells was working in the front office of the New York Jets and hired Belichick as head coach, but Belichick backed out almost immediately and with little warning.

“He [Belichick] made a deal and then tried to get out of it,” Parcells wrote in his book, Parcells: A Football Life. “A deal’s a deal. You want out? You’re going to pay. Simple.”

Parcells and co-author Nunyo Demasio explain how the situation went down.

“On the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, Bill Parcells announced his resignation from the Jets to the public, becoming the first head coach in franchise history to step down with a winning record: 30–20. He informed reporters that his defensive coordinator, Bill Belichick (whose contract from three years earlier ensured that he would take over whenever Parcells decided to leave), was empowered to make all football decisions, while Parcells himself would stay on as a confidant and consultant.”

But Bill Belichick wasn’t the only one giving players a pink slip on Thanksgiving. Both the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts trimmed their rosters on Thursday.