Patriots' Shocking Plan for Next GM Revealed

The New England Patriots' plan for their next GM following Bill Belichick's departure is a shock.
Jan 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft holds a press conference
Jan 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft holds a press conference / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason could be a monumental turning point for the New England Patriots. The Patriots have the third overall pick, the franchise's highest in 30 years, and the third-highest salary cap space of any NFL team.

By securing a franchise talent with the third overall pick, ushering in a strong draft class, and making key splashes in free agency, New England has the opportunity to begin correcting their course quickly.

So, you ask, who will be calling those shots in Foxborough? Well, with franchise altering decisions on the horizon, the Patriots apparently aren't in much of a hurry. On ESPN, NFL insider Adam Schefter turned heads by stating that New England could even wait until after the draft to hire a general manager.

Since the departure of Bill Belichick sent shockwaves last weeky, the Patriots have already replaced one of his two responsibilities. Jerod Mayo was elevated to become the team's 15th head coach on Friday, but the team has yet to publicly reveal their plan to fill Belichick's role as de facto general manager.

New England is famously (and sometimes frustratingly) "in-house". Historically, the team has loved to bring back former players on the last leg of their career, used the same retread coaches (a la Bill O'Brien, Joe Judge, Matt Patricia, and Josh McDaniels), and Belichick kept his circle limited to his close confidants. There appears to be a general distrust or even paranoia about allowing key decision makers to come from outside organizations, and that very well could have helped attribute to the Patriots' recent demise.

The hiring of Mayo, a former linebacker whose only coaching experience is with New England, has only furthered that phenomenon. Well, the next GM situation could likely be more of the underwhelming same.

The decision to stick with Matt Groh, New England's current director of player personnel, and Eliot Wolf, the team's director of scouting, definitely raises some eyebrows given the Patriots' overwhelming lack of talent and dismal recent draft history.

Whether intentionally done or not, the Krafts are also pointing the finger at Belichick for the team's struggles with the retention of those two. In their evaluation of the player personnel department, they've deemed him as the only one who needs to go.

It is obviously imperative to note that head coach Bill Belichick and de facto general manager Bill Belichick are a package deal, but it feels a little scapegoat-y to hold him accountable for the roster construction while Groh and Wolf get off scot-free.

With the removal of the Belichick's notoriously controlling tendencies, the door may be more open for owner Kraft to insert himself into personnel decisions. Now don't expect him to go full Jerry Jones, but also don't be surprised if Kraft voices his opinions a little more freely in the absence of Belichick.

For what it is worth, no Patriots executive has ever held the title of general manager during the Kraft's ownership. Bobby Grier and Scott Pioli were handed the title of vice president of player personnel, while Nick Caserio and Matt Groh held the title of director of player personnel. It looks like that might not be changing anytime soon.

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