The New England Patriots had already lost one valuable member of their front office when now-former Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio took the Houston Texans’ general manager job. With another member of the front office, the Assistant Director of Player Personnel Dave Ziegler having interviewed for the Denver Broncos’ general manager spot, New England was in danger of having its management team ravaged.
Bill Belichick to the rescue.
According to NFL Insider Albert Breer, Belichick met with Ziegler on Sunday morning, and the meeting reportedly led to the latter withdrawing his name from consideration for the Broncos’ GM job.
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Ziegler Likely to Succeed Caserio
While it’s against league rules for the Patriots to promise Ziegler the job, we’d be crazy not to think that he wouldn’t be the guy in line to take over for Caserio. The Broncos seemed to be a serious threat to pry Ziegler away from the Patriots, and evidence of that is Belichick seeing fit to make a personal call to him to convince his colleague to stay. The sense of urgency is telling.
The Patriots haven’t drafted well on the offensive side of the ball over the past 10-12 years, so it’ll be interesting to see if the selections improve with Caserio out of the picture, or if these picks have been all about Belichick and will continue to be.
Ziegler’s decision to withdraw his name proves he has some serious love for the Patriots organization. The position he’s likely to assume in New England isn’t equal to the one he decided to stop pursuing with Denver. He likely believes he could be the man to succeed Belichick once he’s ready to step down, but it doesn’t seem as though that’s something that will be happening within the next 2 years.
Perhaps Ziegler and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are waiting for Belichick’s decision on his long-term future.
At 38 years old, Ziegler has to be considered one of the youngest, and hottest front-office candidates in the league. That’s likely why Belichick knew he had to spring into action to keep him in the fold.
He seems like a great candidate to one day succeed Belichick, who has acted as the de facto general manager through the Patriots’ successful run. Belichick is 68 years old, and could easily coach into his 70s, but because of Ziegler’s relative youth, he’d still be able to have a long career as a general manager if he waits on Belichick to walk away.
However, if Belichick elects to stick around a little longer than Ziegler is comfortable with, and another attractive general manager offer comes into his view, a call from The Hoodie might not be enough to save the day.
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