3 Offseason Moves That Could Backfire on Patriots

Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo (L) and owner Robert
Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo (L) and owner Robert / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Lack of New Faces in the Front Office

With de facto general manager Bill Belichick out and a 4-13 season demonstrating one of the worst rosters in the league, New England had a chance to uproot their front office braintrust and inject some new much-needed ideas and perspectives. Whether intentional or not, keeping all of the front office braintrust intact sans Bill Belichick insinuates that the team places the majority of the player personnel shortcomings on him.

Instead, the Patriots opted to elevate Eliot Wolf's voice within the organization. Wolf joined New England in 2020 as a consultant and was promoted to director of scouting in 2022. Looking at the Patriots' past drafts, it is hard to grade out Wolf's time in Foxborough as a success. Obviously, there will always be the lingering question of how much of a voice Belichick allowed him to have in the decision-making process. The organization failed to even interview any candidates before choosing to move forward with Wolf as the ultimate decision maker, a lack of due diligence that should leave Patriots fans frustrated.

Alonzo Highsmith, who most recently served as the general manager of football operations at the University of Miami for the past two seasons, was the only real notable external addition. Highsmith and Wolf worked together both with the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns. Highsmith was a senior personnel executive with Green Bay from 2012-17 and vice president of player personnel with Cleveland from 2018-19. Additionally, Highsmith spent three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks from 2020-2022 in their personnel department.

The Patriots entered the offseason with the fourth-worst record of any franchise across the last two seasons and essentially chose to run it back with many of the same faces that had been part of those roster constructions. Presented with the most cap space available in the NFL, and the third overall pick in next month's draft, New England should have at least entertained bringing in external candidates.