More reports are floating that Bret Bielema, whose ignominious tenure as coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks football team ended last year, has some sort of role with the NFL’s New England Patriots. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports from Foxborough that Bielema reported to work for the Patriots last week:
The Patriots have had success in recent years drafting players from Bret Bielema’s teams, and entering one of the most important drafts in Bill Belichick’s tenure, the former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach continues to work closely with the team this spring.
After having been spotted at the combine with the Patriots’ contingent, and also wearing New England gear at USC’s pro day, Bielema reported to work over the past week at Gillette Stadium. His exact role hasn’t been announced by Belichick, but it seems obvious that it starts with consulting on scouting and the draft this spring.
Reiss speculates that Bielema can “add a different SEC-specific perspective” to the Patriots scouting. All decent people agree that Belichick and the Patriots are loathsome and insufferable, so I would be thrilled if they listen to advice from Bret Bielema.
Bielema’s employment status is a topic of interest for the Razorback Foundation, which announced in January that Bielema could be paid nearly $12 million as part of a severance package, paid out in monthly installments of up to $320,833.33 (before reductions or withholdings) through 2020. That package would be offset if Bielema gets income from a new job. (Even if he lands a bigger job than holding Belichik’s beer, the Foundation will still be liable for a minimum payment of $150,000 each year.)
Bielema recently put his house in Fayetteville on the market, which he described as a “magnificent two level European style Estate on 2 acres.”