Last year, Matt Patricia was seemingly attached to Bill Belichick’s side. They attended pro days together along with the league meetings, and Patricia was also heavily involved in the personnel side of the equation.
But this offseason, it seems like Jerod Mayo is stepping into that role. Mayo was with Belichick when the Patriots interviewed offensive coordinator candidates last week, according to SI’s Albert Breer, and the Patriots have already announced their working on a contract extension with their franchise stalwart.
Could Patricia be out of the picture?
NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran briefly addresses the question in a column detailing the Patriots’ offensive coordinator search. In it, Curran writes that Patricia “might be on his way out.”
Though Patricia has been on the Patriots’ staff as a senior football advisor for two seasons, the Lions have been paying his salary, since he was fired with two years left on his deal. It’s a trick the Patriots have used before. Most notably, former Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema collected his $12 million buyout while working for the Patriots (the Razorback Foundation actually sued Bielema over the arrangement).
The Giants are also currently paying Joe Judge, who was the Patriots’ quarterback coach this year.
Now that Patricia’s contract with the Lions is over, the Patriots would be on the hook for his full salary this season. Presumably, they would have to pay him significantly more than the likely nominal rate he was earning as an advisor to Belichick.
It’s hard to imagine Patricia splitting from the Patriots, given his heavy involvement with the operation and close relationship with Belichick. But it’s apparent his role is going to change with the team regardless.
Maybe splitting ways would be what’s best for both parties. Undoubtedly, it would be the best move for the Patriots’ offense.