First, Breer notes that head coach Bill Belichick “long had a close relationship with [New York Giants] owner John Mara, who’d surely seek his advice. And ex-Giants GM Ernie Accorsi has been retained as a consultant for the search, and Accorsi’s searches have, in the past, turned up Belichick protégés Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta) and Bob Quinn (Detroit) as hires.”
So look for the Patriots head coach to have a footprint in the Giants transition process. Belichick’s played a role in other hirings over the year, helping Greg Schiano get the head coaching job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and John Harbaugh get the lead job with the Baltimore Ravens. Those are two vastly different outcomes, but Belichick will certainly be called upon if Breer’s other thoughts are true.
“Keep an eye on Patriots VP of player personnel Nick Caserio,” Breer reports about the Giants general manager job. “In the past, there’s been perception that he had little interest in leaving New England, but the sense I’ve gotten is that he’s willing to listen, especially to a place like the Giants. Last year, when the Niners set their sights on Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, there was a second effort, after Caserio initially declined to interview in San Francisco, to poach the exec as part of a package deal.”
Perhaps Caserio would want to get out of Bill Belichick’s shadow if it meant that he could start a new franchise with his friend Josh McDaniels. I’m on the record thinking that McDaniels makes the most sense as the Giants head coach and Caserio would certainly be a good pairing. I just assumed that Caserio was happy in New England and that former Patriots exec and Atlanta Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli made the most sense from a pairing perspective.
But if Caserio leaves for New York, Breer adds that it would be interesting “to see if Belichick were inclined to try and woo Falcons assistant GM Scott Pioli back home.” Belichick hasn’t shied away from bringing former Patriots back into the fold (McDaniels is the best example) and Pioli would be able to step right back into his old job.
I’m not sure how the current presumed heir, director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, would feel about this move, but it wouldn’t be an impossible marriage.
Finally, Breer passes along some “speculation” from “league circles” about a potential head coaching job for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.
“I don’t think Jim Caldwell’s extension in Detroit makes him 100 percent safe at the end of the month,” Breer writes. “My guess is that if the Lions miss the playoffs, there’ll be some tough discussions. And there’s long been speculation in league circles that Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia could win up with the Lions.”
Caldwell signed a multi-year contract extension this offseason, but that is apparently not going to keep the Detroit Lions locked in at the position. If Patricia were to take the job, he would join former Patriots exec and Lions general manager Bob Quinn, providing Detroit with a similar Caserio/McDaniels ticket of former Patriots that would be on the same page.
Will any of these moves happen? Caserio has used open general manager jobs as leverage to get a new contract in the past and he signed a deal through 2020 prior to the Patriots winning Super Bowl XLIX and LI. He could think he’s due for a raise.
I think McDaniels to the Giants has a high chance of happening, but I think Patricia remains with the Patriots for at least another season.