Personnel man Dave Ziegler has been with the Patriots for the last eight seasons and has climbed the ladder up the organization's front office.
With the departure of Nick Caserio this offseason, Ziegler is now at or very near the top (the Patriots haven't officially announced his new title, but he was assistant director of player personnel and Caserio was director of player personnel).
Additionally, Zigeler interviewed for the Broncos GM job this offseason, but reportedly withdrew from consideration after a call from Bill Belichick. This indicates he's likely in a role similar to what Caserio had.
Patriots.com's Megan O'Brien recently spoke to Ziegler, which were his first public comments since Caserio's departure.
“It’s been fun, and it’s been challenging,” Ziegler said of his new role. “It’s been a new level of having to be ultra-organized, prioritize tasks and be involved on just a greater scope with more people in the organization, which has been fun. Luckily for me, the support here within the scouting department from people like Brian Smith and Steve Cargile, Eliot Wolf — I could keep naming people, but we have so many good people here that offer support, that have experience, that it’s made the transition pretty seamless.
“And it’s exciting. A new challenge, more involvement, being able to lead more people and hopefully have a greater impact is something that we all strive for in our careers. So it’s an exciting opportunity and something I’m ready to keep grinding away at.”
One of Ziegler's first orders of business will be free agency, where the Patriots have the fourth-most cap space in the league, which he acknowledged is a good thing.
“I think having cap space gives you flexibility,” Ziegler said. “There aren’t a whole lot of teams at this point that maybe have a lot of cap space, so I think having that flexibility, it just opens up options for you. And I think that at the same time, there’s still a responsibility to spend those dollars wisely.”
Ziegler will also help lead the NFL Draft, which begins in late April, but the scouting process is already well underway.