4. Bill Belichick (Jets)
The New York Jets and New England Patriots have long had one of the most heated rivalries in the NFL, and a few moves in the late '90s only added fuel to the fire. It all started five days after the Patriots lost to the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI when Bill Parcells stepped down as head coach of the Pats. Speculation was flying around the league that he was heading to New York to become the Jets head coach. However, Patriots owner Robert Kraft got the NFL to restrict Parcells from coaching anywhere in the 1997 season. Instead, the Jets named longtime Parcells assistant Bill Belichick their new head coach.
Just four days after his hiring he was demoted to assistant coach when New York and New England reached a deal that allowed Parcells to coach the Jets. After three relatively successful seasons, Parcells stepped down as the head coach to become chief of football operations. He thought he’d be leaving the team in the capable hands of Belichick. However, in a surprise move, Belichick resigned just one day after being elevated to head coach.
He infamously scribbled his resignation note on a napkin which read “I resign as HC of the NYJ”. After delivering a rambling 30 minute speech, trying to make sense of his decision to the Press, he was gone. In the speech he said, "I had no clear direction of where I am going in the organization." The Jets jerking him around by naming him head coach three seasons earlier and then demoting him, may have had something to do with that line of thinking.
When asked if he wanted to coach in the NFL in 2000, Belichick answered, "I haven't really thought about it." That seems strange considering that less than a month later, after a battle to get out of his New York contract; he became the coach of the Patriots. It brings to mind the old adage “what goes around, comes around,” as perhaps New York got what they deserved for basically doing the same thing when they got Parcells. The rest is history as Belichick went on to lead New England to three Super Bowl titles, and coach one of the most dominant teams in the new century.