New England Patriots

Report: Why Nick Caley turned down Patriots' OC job offer

The ex-Patriots staffer is staying put in Los Angeles.

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At this point last month, Nick Caley appeared to be the frontrunner to land the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator job. But in a surprise turn of events, the Patriots hired Alex Van Pelt instead, while Caley remained with the Los Angeles Rams as tight ends coach.

So, why didn't New England hire Caley? According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, it was Caley's call to stay in L.A.

Caley, who worked on the Patriots' coaching staff for eight seasons from 2015 to 2022, was "offered the Patriots offensive coordinator job ... at a very competitive salary" by new head coach Jerod Mayo, Breer reported Tuesday night. But Caley turned his former employer down.

"It was tough to say no," Breer wrote. "But Caley had such a good experience last year with the Rams, that the idea of leaving was more difficult than turning down a coordinator job."

According to Breer, Rams head coach Sean McVay was "ecstatic" that Caley decided to stay and rewarded Caley by giving him the title of pass game coordinator formerly held by Zac Robinson, who left to become the Atlanta Falcons' OC.

At first glance, it's puzzling why Caley would rather remain a position coach than be given the keys to the Patriots' offense as OC. It begs the question of how the franchise is perceived outside New England, and whether some coaches are wary of joining a team that went 4-13 last season with the NFL's worst offense and is undergoing significant changes after parting ways with Bill Belichick.

While that could have factored into Caley's decision, it sounds like this was more about the positive experience he's had in Los Angeles than any ill will toward New England. And the situation may have worked out well for both sides, as Van Pelt brings much-needed experience to a new-look coaching staff that Caley couldn't have provided.

Caley is only 41 years old, so he has time to pursue an OC role in the future. In the meantime, it will fall to Van Pelt to reinvigorate an offense that averaged just 13.9 points per game last season.

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