Perry: What's next for Matt Patricia and the Patriots? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Could Bill Belichick offer Matt Patricia a job to keep him in New England for 2023? He could.
But what would that job entail? Would Patricia be interested? Is he a lock to be in Foxboro for another season?
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The answers to those questions are less certain.
Patricia's future with the Patriots is something several high-ranking members of the club are unclear on. There is a belief among multiple staffers that he will not be with the team in 2023, I’m told.
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We know the Patriots are in the process of replacing Patricia as their de facto offensive coordinator. They've interviewed five candidates for the offensive coordinator role, and the expectation is that they'll come to a conclusion on that front in short order.
Indications are that Belichick would not fire Patricia, even though Patricia has been bumped from his previous post; Belichick could find a role for him, is the widely-held belief.
But if there's an opportunity for Patricia to continue his career elsewhere, the 48-year-old might favor a fresh start with a different team. The expectation is that the Patriots would not stand in his way if he were to pursue another job that would represent a lateral move.
Patricia has served as a defensive coordinator, an offensive play-caller, and in a player-personnel role at times under Belichick. Where Belichick could slot his longtime trusted assistant next is the source of some uncertainty among Patricia's colleagues.
He’s not expected to join the front office on a full-time basis, even though he did have a behind-the-scenes role similar to fellow trusted Belichick advisor Mike Lombardi back in 2021. It's unclear if Patricia would be retained on the offensive staff after an underwhelming performance on that side of the ball in 2022. On the defensive end of things, there’s a logjam of younger leaders. Jerod Mayo has received a strong vote of confidence from ownership in the last few weeks as they work to what the team described in a statement as a "long-term" extension. Meanwhile, Steve Belichick has been the defensive play-caller since 2019.
Patricia's contract with the Lions, which paid him through the 2022 season, is up. He was compensated by the Patriots over the last two years with salaries commensurate with his roles in Foxboro, I'm told. The Lions made up the difference of what he was owed on the contract he signed with Detroit in 2018.
Patricia was the offensive line coach in New England in title last season, but he essentially relinquished those duties to assistant line coach Billy Yates after the season-opener in Miami. After conversations with coaches and players about the Week 1 operation, Belichick moved Yates to the sidelines on a full-time basis -- he had been watching the first halves of games (preseason and Week 1) from the press-box level with other coaches -- and had Patricia focus on his duties coordinating the offense and calling plays.
The Patriots could be going into 2023 with a new offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and tight ends coach since Nick Caley (tight ends coach since 2017) is not under contract. Caley did, however, interview for the offensive coordinator opening. The other interviewees for the position were Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, Cardinals receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, Oregon offensive line coach Adrian Klemm and Vikings receivers coach Keenan McCardell.
O'Brien is the "obvious choice" if an agreement is able to be reached, according to one person familiar with the team's interview process. Whoever wins the gig, he'll have Patricia's job and the title Patricia was never given last season.
Where Patricia winds up, though, remains hazy.