With the Bill Belichick era over and the Jerod Mayo era underway in New England, the Patriots have a long way to go in rebuilding their once-great franchise. That means a lot of updates for Patriots fans to keep track of over the next few months.
Who will stay? Who will be brought in? What happened when?
To make this offseason easier to follow, we’ll be tracking the biggest moves since Belichick and the Patriots’ mutual parting of ways, including any significant reports, moves, and speculation
Click here for updates and breakdowns on each coaching candidate being connected to the Patriots.
Thursday, February 1, 2024 – Belichick won’t coach in the NFL in 2024
One day after former Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald was announced as the Seahawks’ newest head coach, reports indicate the Commanders have filled their vacancy with former Cowboys defensive coordinator Dann Quinn. With no more head coach openings in the NFL, it appears Bill Belichick will be out of the NFL for the first time since 1975.
The Athletic‘s Dianna Russini reported Thursday afternoon that Belichick was also considered for the Commanders’ job. He spoke with the organization and had some internal support inside the building, but they ultimately passed. However, The Pat McAfee Show disputed this claim, with McAfee saying his sources told him the sides never spoke.
Belichick seemed like a shoo-in for the Falcons’ top job, but concerns regarding his age, recent lack of success, and desired amount of control led Atlanta to go with former Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, who was with the team from 2015-2020. Morris’ roles during that time included being assistant head coach, interim head coach, defensive coordinator, passing game coordinator on both sides of the ball, and coaching wide receivers and defensive backs.
CBS Sports‘ Jonathan Jones reports that Belichick still wants to coach and “someone could give him the control he wants next year when a quarter of the league rolls over.”
Thursday, January 25 – Belichick could be out of head coaching options
Reports indicate the Falcons plan to hire former Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris as their newest head coach, meaning Bill Belichick could be out of a job this season. Adam Schefter reported earlier today that Belichick hasn’t spoken to the Commanders or Seahawks, the only teams left with vacancies.
While it’s hard to fathom the greatest coach of all time not being on an NFL sideline in 2024, the scenario isn’t all that shocking. Belichick would only be coaching for the all-time wins record, as he will be 72 when the season starts, and there are several other younger, qualified candidates still on the market. He also likely wants a significant, if not final, say in personnel decisions, which would be asking a lot of teams with a trusted front office already in place.
If Belichick isn’t coaching next season, reports have indicated Josh McDaniels could be at the top of Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo’s list of offensive coordinator candidates. While many fans understandably want a fresh face leading the offense, McDaniels has won multiple Super Bowls as a play-caller, and he maximized the ghost of Cam Newton in 2020 and a rookie Mac Jones in 2021. There’s also a strong chance he’d be around long-term after once again being fired as a head coach midway through his second season.
Even if New England goes with someone from the McVay tree, such as Rams pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson or tight ends coach Nick Caley, Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer recently reported the team could hire a senior offensive assistant, as neither candidate has called plays in a real game.
Belichick being out of the league could also mean the Patriots retain their entire defensive coaching staff, as Steve Belichick, Brian Belichick, and Mike Pellegrino seemed like candidates to leave the nest if the elder Belichick landed another job.
Thursday, January 25 – Belichick to the Falcons cools down
One week after a second interview made Bill Belichick seem like a lock to be the Falcons’ next head coach, ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reports he is no longer the favorite and that the team’s search is “wide open.” Schefter’s report has been further substantiated by Atlanta holding second interviews with Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero over the past week. The team has also met with several other candidates still on the market, including:
- Former Titans head coach Mike Vrabel
- Ravens defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald
- Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn
- 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks
- Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson
- Texans coordinator Bobby Slowik
- Former Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson
- Ravens assistant head coach and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver
- Bills interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady
Belichick is quickly running out of options. The Commanders and Seahawks are the only teams outside of Atlanta with head coach openings, and Schefter reports the coach hasn’t spoken to any of them. Schefter also says there is a “real possibility” that Belichick doesn’t land a job at all this offseason, citing the soon-to-be-71-year-old’s age, lack of success in the post-Brady era, and potential organizational structure.
If Belichick wants to pass Don Shula’s all-time wins record, sitting out an entire season for a better opportunity would make that extremely difficult. And with so many younger, qualified coaches still on the market, one has to wonder if a franchise would be willing to commit to Belichick for a 2-3-year rental.
Thursday, January 18 – Bill Belichick to the Falcons heats up
According to NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport, Bill Belichick and the Falcons will meet for a second interview this weekend with owner Arthur Blank, CEO Rich McKay, and GM Terry Fontenot in attendance. The presence of high-ranking front-office members implies Belichick could have a smaller role in personnel decisions than he did in New England. CBS Sports‘ Josina Anderson adds that she expects the sides will reach a deal “barring a snag in negotiations or a future development” and that “[Belichick’s] previous rapport with Falcons CEO Rich McKay creates comfort he can’t mimic in any other building with a current vacancy.”
ESPN‘s Peter Thamel reports that Bill O’Brien is leaving the Patriots after one season to become Ohio State’s newest offensive coordinator. The previous Saturday, Ian Rappoport said Josh McDaniels could be Mayo’s top choice to fill the position if O’Brien were to leave the team.
Wednesday, January 17 – Jerod Mayo and Robert Kraft hold introductory press conference
Jerod Mayo and Robert Kraft hold a joint press conference introducing Mayo as the team’s newest head coach. Mayo emphasizes the importance of healthy communication, collaboration, and development in establishing a new culture. Kraft says instinct drove his decision to promote Mayo without a traditional coaching search, recalling when he didn’t listen to his instinct and passed on Bill Belichick back after the 1996 season.
Regarding the team’s open general manager position, Kraft says while the team will “probably start doing interviews and looking at people from the outside,” they will lean on internal collaboration in the short term.
NBC Sports Boston‘s Phil Perry reports Robyn Glaser, a senior executive with The Kraft Group since 2007, has been named EVP of Football Business & Senior Advisor to the Head Coach. Glaser most recently served as the Patriots’ SVP of Business Affairs and Chief Administrative & Compliance Officer.
Monday, January 15 – Bill Belichick meets with Falcons; sons could return to Patriots
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reports that Bill Belichick’s sons might not follow their father to his next destination, saying, “Defensive play-caller and linebackers coach Steve and safeties coach Brian have both already been offered the opportunity to return to the team for 2024. Mayo and the elder son (Steve) have grown close as they’ve collaborated to run the Patriots’ defense the past five years.”
In the same article, Breer speculates that the Patriots could be “very open-minded in trying to find the right guy” for their offensive coordinator position if Bill O’Brien doesn’t return.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Mayo holds his first interview as head coach as the Patriots bring in Panthers outside linebackers coach Tem Lukabu for their defensive coordinator position. Later, Rapoport reports New England has also requested a meeting with Falcons special teams coach Marquice Williams.
NFL Network‘s Tom Pelissero reports Bill Belichick has taken the first meeting of his post-Patriots career, with Belichick and Falcons owner Arthur Blank meeting in person for Atlanta’s head coaching vacancy. According to Pelissero, “No deal is imminent. But there is mutual interest and conversations are ongoing.”
Sunday, January 14 – Director of scouting Eliot Wolf a favorite for general manager job
ESPN‘s Mike Reiss adds context to the Patriots’ general manager situation, reporting, “The past four years have, in some respects, been an extended job interview for [Eliot Wolf].”
Saturday, January 13 – Patriots reportedly in no rush to hire general manager
Adam Schefter reports on ESPN that the Patriots are “in no rush to hire a general manager” and “might even wait until after the draft to hire a general manager,” leaving director of player personnel Matt Groh, director of scouting Eliot Wolf, senior personnel adviser Pat Stewart, pro scouting director Steve Cargile, and college scouting director Cam Williams to run the front office collaboratively. MassLive reports that Jerod Mayo “could have real input when it comes to the team’s personnel department.”
Ian Rapoport reports on NFL Network that if Bill O’Brien doesn’t return as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels could be Mayo’s top choice to fill the position.
Friday, January 12 – Jerod Mayo announced as Patriots head coach
Jerod Mayo is announced as the 15th head coach in Patriots history, making him the franchise’s first black head coach and the youngest head coach in the NFL. According to NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport, Mayo’s contract extension, which was signed the previous offseason, included a succession clause allowing New England to bypass standard hiring procedure. NBC Sports Boston‘s Phil Perry adds that the succession timeline “was expedited by a year due to the team’s struggles this season.”
Thursday, January 11 – Bill Belichick and the Patriots mutually part ways
Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft hold a joint press conference to announce a mutual parting of ways between the two sides. Kraft explains the decision by saying, “What’s gone on here the last 3-4 years isn’t what we want. Our job is to fix it.”