Eliot Wolf Expected To Control Pats’ Roster

Eliot Wolf interviewed for GM gigs in the past. It now looks like the veteran exec has one, just without the title. Mentioned earlier as the likeliest exec to be running the show in New England post-Bill Belichick, Wolf is indeed expected to be at the top of the Patriots’ front office structure this year.

The second-generation personnel man is expected to have control of the Pats’ 53-man roster, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. Wolf, 41, will work closely with new HC Jerod Mayo; when it comes to final say, however, it is expected Wolf will hold the power Belichick wielded for so long. Wolf most recently held the title of scouting director in New England, but Rapoport adds Matt Groh is expected to be in charge of the team’s college scouting.

Wolf’s influence can be felt early this offseason. The Patriots have hired ex-Packers assistants Alex Van Pelt, Ben McAdoo, Jerry Montgomery and Alonzo Highsmith. The latter, who worked with Wolf in Green Bay and Cleveland, will hold the title of senior personnel executive, Rapoport adds.

This will represent a belated rise for Wolf, whom the Packers considered as Ted Thompson‘s GM successor in 2018. The team instead promoted Brian Gutekunst, and Wolf joined Highsmith in leaving for Cleveland. The Browns installed Wolf as their assistant GM under John Dorsey. Following Dorsey’s 2020 ouster, Wolf and Highsmith worked as consultants in Seattle. While Highsmith stayed, Wolf left to become part of the Pats’ then-Belichick-led front office.

Wolf interviewed for the Colts’ GM job back in 2017 and has been on the GM radar elsewhere in the recent past. The Bears and Vikings considered Wolf for their GM openings in 2022, respectively hiring Ryan Poles and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. The Patriots also gave Groh the title of player personnel director in 2022, keeping Wolf as their scouting director under Belichick. Following the latter’s exit, it appears Eliot Wolf will follow in his father’s footsteps as the top personnel man in an organization.

Longtime Al Davis right-hand man Ron Wolf later served as Packers GM from 1991-2001. This span included the Packers acquiring Brett Favre from the Falcons and signing Reggie White to close his much-publicized free agency tour a year later. Those pillars became all-time greats, solidifying their legacies in Green Bay while helping snap a near-30-year Super Bowl drought for Titletown. While Eliot Wolf did not join Green Bay’s front office until 2004, he worked with the organization his father transformed for nearly 15 years. Eliot climbed to the director of football operations position by 2016.

Given Belichick’s towering presence within the organization for 24 years, Wolf will naturally step into a high-pressure spot. Though, Belichick did not account himself especially well on the personnel side in recent years. The team’s post-Tom Brady decline does make the the prioritizing of continuity interesting here, but Wolf, Groh and Mayo will be in charge of leading this reconstruction effort — one that will include the No. 3 overall pick, the highest Patriots draft choice since 1993.

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