New England Patriots

Titans fire Mike Vrabel; could he replace Belichick as Patriots coach?

The Patriots' coaching situation just got more interesting.

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The Tennessee Titans fired Mike Vrabel as their head coach Tuesday in a surprising move that adds another very talented and respected coach to the market.

Vrabel took over the Titans as head coach in 2018 and led Tennessee to three playoff appearances in six seasons on the job. He was the NFL's Coach of the Year award winner in 2021. However, the Titans struggled to a 7-10 record in 2022 and a 6-11 record this past season. Vrabel finishes his Titans tenure with a 54-45 record (2-3 in playoffs).

Vrabel hitting the coaching free agent market is interesting for several reasons, the most notable of which involves the New England Patriots.

Vrabel could be a top candidate to replace Bill Belichick if the Patriots and the legendary head coach decide to part ways. Belichick reportedly will meet with Patriots ownership for a second time since Sunday's Week 18 finale. The date of that meeting is unknown at this time.

The Patriots would have had to trade for Vrabel because he was under contract with the Titans for 2024 before his firing. Now that he's a free agent, the Patriots no longer have to give up any draft picks to get him.

The former linebacker spent eight seasons with the Patriots from 2001 through 2008 and played a key role on three Super Bowl-winning teams. Vrabel was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame last October.

Jerod Mayo is seen as the top internal candidate for the Patriots' head coach job if Belichick leaves. It'll be interesting to see if Vrabel's availability impacts the Kraft family's plans for the head coach position.

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