If the Patriots opt to acquire Bill Belichick after a disastrous 2023 season, current linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is the early favorite to succeed the future Hall of Famer in New England.
But if Robert Kraft and New England want to cast a wider net in their search for a new head coach, could a Patriots Hall of Famer currently holding the reins of another NFL team be a viable target?
Earlier this month, Ben Volin from The Boston Sphere reported that current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel could be a potential coaching candidate in New England.
“Two sources close to the Patriots have independently said the same thing: They believe Vrabel, currently the Titans’ coach, is the Krafts’ ‘home run’ choice to succeed Belichick,” Volin wrote.
Such a scenario is not lost on former NFL GM Randy Mueller, who outlined a potential trade the Patriots could make to pry Vrabel from Tennessee.
“If I were Kraft, I would reach out owner to owner and offer a 2024 second round as it will be a high pick,” Mueller wrote in The Athletic. “I wouldn’t pick in the top 10 because I’m not willing to give up the farm, and if I were the Titans, I might trade back to acquire an additional pick in the next year.
“This can only happen if Vrabel seriously wants to move forward. And there could be another team that would offer more for a coach of Vrabel’s stature, even though the league might dispute the idea of a draft pick bidding war for a coach.”
If that’s the price for Vrabel, the Patriots should feel confident that the former All-Pro linebacker is the right man for the job.
Even if New England avoids giving up a first-round pick for Vrabel, their second-round selection would also be a valuable asset. And considering New England’s sputtering offense needs help all over the depth chart, another pick in the low 30s could come in handy as the Patriots try to rebuild a new core in the coming years.
Vrabel has posted a 51-40 record since taking over at Tennessee in 2018 and won the 2021 NFL Coach of the Year Award after leading the Titans to a 12-5 record that year.
While the Titans are just 10-16 since the start of the 2022 season, it can also be argued that their foot results are due to quarterback injuries and a disastrous trade that shipped star forward AJ Brown to the Eagles in April 2022.
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