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Patriots owner eyes former NFL Coach of the Year as potential replacement for Bill Belichick

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is reportedly considering parting ways with legendary head coach Bill Belichick after the team's disappointing 5-11 season, the worst since Belichick's first year in 2000. The Patriots have missed the postseason in three of the last four years and have not won a playoff game since their Super Bowl 53 victory five years ago.

If Belichick does leave, Kraft may target a former NFL Coach of the Year as his replacement. According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, there have been discussions in league circles about Kraft potentially reaching out to the Tennessee Titans to inquire about head coach Mike Vrabel.

Breer stated: "If Belichick is gone, linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is at the front of the line to replace him... There's also been speculation in league circles that Kraft could at least make a phone call to the Tennessee Titans on Mike Vrabel."

Vrabel, a key part of the Patriots' first dynasty in the 2000s, has a strong track record as head coach of the Titans since 2018. He has led the team to four straight winning seasons and three consecutive playoff berths, including an appearance in the AFC Championship Game in 2019. This makes him an attractive candidate for Kraft if he seeks familiarity with his next head coach.

Vrabel has done a great coaching job with the Titans

However, it remains uncertain whether the Titans would be willing to part with Vrabel, especially after his impressive performance as the 2021 Coach of the Year. If Kraft is intent on securing Vrabel, he may need to offer a substantial compensation package.

In addition to Vrabel, there is speculation about current Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo potentially replacing Belichick. According to Breer, discussions with Kraft last year led to Mayo turning down an opportunity to interview for the Carolina Panthers job, indicating a strong relationship between Mayo and the Patriots' ownership. This suggests that Mayo could be a strong internal candidate for the head coaching position.

The potential departure of Belichick and the subsequent search for a new head coach could mark a significant transition for the Patriots organization. With uncertainties looming, Kraft's decision regarding the coaching staff will undoubtedly be closely monitored by football enthusiasts and analysts alike.

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