New England Patriots

Report: Patriots have started search for next general manager

Eliot Wolf has operated as New England's de facto GM since Bill Belichick's departure.

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The New England Patriots' search for their next head of football operations is reportedly underway.

On Monday, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reported the Patriots are "moving forward with a search for their next top football executive, a role that would amount to what's typically known in the NFL as a general manager." Jones adds that while it's unclear what the official title for the role would be, the position would outrank all other football positions in the organization.

Director of scouting Eliot Wolf has served as New England's de facto GM since Bill Belichick's departure in January. According to our Phil Perry, Wolf is a strong candidate to keep that role, potentially with a new title.

Team owner Robert Kraft is obligated to undergo an official search for a head of football ops under the Rooney Rule, which states that teams must interview at least two external minority candidates for the position.

Wolf led the Patriots' front office through free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft. With Wolf at the helm, New England re-signed offensive lineman Mike Onwenu, tight end Hunter Henry, safety Kyle Dugger, tackle Christian Barmore, linebacker Joshua Uche, and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. Wide receiver K.J. Osborn and tight end Austin Hooper were also among those signed in the spring.

In the draft, Wolf and the Patriots selected UNC quarterback Drake Maye with their No. 3 overall pick. They turned down trade offers from the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants for the premium selection.

These decisions undoubtedly will factor into how Wolf is evaluated in the Patriots' search process. If the Krafts are fans of how Wolf has approached the job over the last four months, it's hard to imagine him relinquishing his role to another candidate.

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