Patriots Pregame Live

Perry details ‘drama' on Pats coaching staff amid Belichick uncertainty

"Cliques have formed."

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The New England Patriots are at an organizational crossroads, and it's apparently led to some strife behind the scenes.

With the possibility that Bill Belichick may leave the team this offseason -- our Phil Perry reports a parting of ways with Belichick seems "inevitable," while our Tom E. Curran has reported a "decision was made" to part ways with Belichick following New England's loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Germany -- some Patriots coaches are doing their own speculation about their boss' future, Perry reported Sunday on Patriots Pregame Live ahead of the team's season finale against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium.

"I spoke with several sources who told me they truly don't know, but if they were leaning in one direction in terms of where it might go, there are a lot who are assuming this will be Bill Belichick's last game as head coach with the Patriots," Perry said. "And they would acknowledge, too, that it will be hard for (Belichick) to make his case in such a way to Robert Kraft that he will return."

If this indeed is Belichick's final season, it hasn't exactly gone smoothly. The Patriots entered Sunday at 4-12 on pace for their worst season since 1992, and a report from the Boston Herald on Thursday detailed several examples of dysfunction on the coaching staff and in the locker room.

Perry followed that report with more intel on the coaching staff's dysfunction.

"I've been told there is 'drama' on the coaching staff right now, as cliques have formed," Perry said. "Not a lot of communication between individuals, between cliques, that you might expect would have a significant amount of communication at this point in the year."

Interestingly enough, Perry noted that "drama" has been "a little bit quieter" in New England's personnel department compared to the coaching staff, although some front office members still have questions about their futures if Belichick departs.

"I had one source tell me, no one's shown real signs of despair thinking about what might come next for Bill Belichick and the uncertainty there, but there certainly is uncertainty (among) personnel staffers trying to plan their futures right now should Bill Belichick no longer be the head coach of the New England Patriots," Perry said.

The Patriots would need both a new head coach and general manager if Belichick exits, as the long-time head coach also has final say on personnel decisions. Perry noted Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf has "continue(d) to get buzz as a potential internal successor" to Belichick as GM, while linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is the internal favorite to take over as head coach.

"I had one personnel staffer tell me if it was Mayo who took over as head coach, he would expect more collaboration, more transparency, and he said, 'I would embrace it,'" Perry added. "So, there's a lot going on behind the scenes right now."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who reportedly has a meeting set for Monday with Belichick, has plenty to sort out over the coming days. One of his goals should be limiting the drama that clearly impacted the team on the field this season.

Check out the video player above or the YouTube video below to hear more intel from Perry.

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