There has been growing speculation in NFL circles that if the New England Patriots did want to make a surprising head coaching change after this season, the organization might be willing to make a blockbuster trade for a current head coach with deep ties to the “Patriot Way.”
After reaching the playoffs two years ago, the Patriots are in the midst of another losing season. What was a problem for the team in 2022 has only gotten worse, and now an ineffective defense in recent weeks has compounded the team’s struggles.
With New England at a low point that they have not had in over two decades, there has been growing speculation that head coach Bill Belichick is not guaranteed to return next season, even despite recently getting a contract extension.
This week brought reports that the Washington Commanders are likely to fire Ron Rivera at the end of the season, and some around the NFL believe the organization could make a play to trade for the legendary Patriots head coach. If such an event came to pass, it would mean that New England would then have to fill the position.
For some time, many have assumed that defensive assistant Jerod Mayo would be next in line of Belichick were ever to depart. However, there are some around the league and team that believe they could go in a different direction.
Could the New England Patriots trade for Mike Vrabel in the offseason?
Earlier this week, Boston Globe NFL insider Ben Volin suggested a “dream scenario” for the team would be for Mayo to become the defensive coordinator, recently fired former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels returns to the role, and then the team could swing a trade for former defensive star and current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. As well as the fact that Vrabel is allegedly a likely top choice for owner Robert Kraft.
Pro Football Focus NFL insider Mike Florio also added to the discourse as he explained why Vrabel would be a perfect fit to return to New England.
“He entered the team’s Hall of Fame last month. He’s beloved by the fans. He’s respected by Belichick. He could be the perfect bridge from the Patriot Way to Vrabel’s Way, which has worked in Tennessee despite some less-than-ideal personnel decisions by the front office,” Florio wrote.
Obviously, it is unclear if Vrabel would be at all interested in leaving Tennessee, but considering his roots in the city after playing eight seasons with the franchise during their dominant run, it would certainly have to be very appealing to the 48-year-old.
The Patriots are back in action this weekend when they play, oddly enough, the Commanders at 1 PM ET on FOX.