Patriots Still Planning To Conduct GM Interviews?

We have known for at least a month that, while Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf presently has final say over personnel decisions and will be operating as New England’s de facto general manager through the upcoming draft, the team plans to conduct interviews for a high-ranking front office executive after the draft is over. Those interviews could be for a GM, a hire that would shunt Wolf aside or perhaps out of the organization entirely.

As our Sam Robinson noted in the article linked above, Wolf has overhauled the prospect evaluation system that the Pats used during Bill Belichick‘s lengthy tenure, and for New England to give Wolf the power to do so only to hire a different decision-maker post-draft would be somewhat surprising. Similarly, we had heard that the Patriots, with Wolf at the helm, were adopting a “Packer-based structure” wherein the personnel department’s input is valued more highly than the head coach’s. It was also reported that Wolf was heavily involved in the head coaching process this offseason, as well as the search to fill out new HC Jerod Mayo‘s staff.

All of that points to the Patriots ultimately giving Wolf the official GM title and having the new staffer work under him, especially since the club is entrusting Wolf with the crucial task of getting the 2024 draft right (the Pats have the No. 3 overall pick and therefore have a golden opportunity to select their next franchise quarterback). Owner Robert Kraft has received positive feedback on Wolf and recently said, “I’m excited with what I’ve seen so far, and we’ll evaluate after the draft and see how that’s gone and decide where we go from there.”

On the other hand, teams like the Jets, Texans, and Bills fired GMs after the draft in the late 2010s, and the Chiefs fired John Dorsey in the summer of 2017. So it is still feasible that the Patriots go in a different direction, with Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston — on a recent episode of Tyler Dunne’s Go Long podcast — confirming that New England will conduct GM interviews after the draft. In Perry’s view, “it’s wild” that the person who is in charge of leading the Pats through this key moment in franchise history is not guaranteed to be in the GM seat once the draft is over, but that is what he has been hearing for months.

If that were to happen, the team would need to comply with the Rooney Rule, which requires that two external minority candidates be interviewed for the GM post. Perry acknowledges that, as referenced above, the team could simply add a new executive to complement Wolf, rather than replace him. Still, given the apparent uncertainty of Wolf’s position, Dunne believes that the scion of Pro Football Hall of Fame exec Ron Wolf will indeed draft a quarterback with the No. 3 selection — which could be what Kraft wants — and will not trade out of the slot. Dunne also believes that UNC passer Drake Maye will be Wolf’s pick (the entire podcast episode merits a listen, particularly for Patriots fans).

Both Perry and former Vikings GM Rick Spielman (via Mike Reiss of indicate that it would require an overpay to convince Wolf & Co. to deal the No. 3 pick rather than staying put and selecting a prospect like Maye, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, or Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. Perry suggests that if the Vikings — who are armed with both the Nos. 11 and 23 selections in 2024 and have been heavily connected to a trade-up endeavor — want New England’s pick, they would have to part with both of their 2024 first-rounders as well as their top choices in the 2025 and 2026 drafts. Spielman thinks three first-rounders and a second would be the “starting point” in negotiations, and that the Patriots could push for a top-tier player like receiever Justin Jefferson or left tackle Christian Darrisaw as part of the package.

Assuming the Vikings or any other club is unwilling to pay that type of price, then the Wolf-led Pats may, as has been expected, take the highest-rated QB remaining on their board once the Bears and Commanders have made their picks. There is still little clarity, though, as to who that player might be.

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