Patriots Analyst Throws Cold Water on 2 Top GM Candidates

Jerod Mayo

Getty New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft hired internally with new head coach Jerod Mayo, but the same is unlikely to happen with the organization’s next general manager.

Top in-house general manager candidates Matt Groh and Eliot Wolf appear out of the running, NBC Sports Boston’s Michael Holley maintains.

“A lot of it is common sense,” Holley said on January 17. “I think they go outside the organization to get that person, and I have a feeling they already know who it is. I think they know who it is.”

Outside candidates with general manager experience include Thomas Dimitroff, Jon Robinson and Dave Ziegler.

There are also several outside candidates who successfully serve in assistant general manager roles — Chad Brinker, Alec Halaby, Ed Dodds, Ray Agnew, and Mike Borgonzi.

“Mayo has to be comfortable with that person … because the first 100 days of the Mayo administration, he’s got four major decisions/endorsements to make: [offensive] coordinator, [defensive] coordinator,  general manager, and the No. 3 pick in the draft,” Holley said.

Matt Groh Not a Fit, Michael Holley Explains

Holley likened Groh’s lack of fit to the Patriots with a contractual approach to marriage as an example. Groh has been in his current role for two seasons after a decade in the scouting department — arguably not enough experience amid Mayo’s first NFL head coaching role.

“Take [director of player personnel] Matt Groh off the board. Matt Groh is here because of his relationship with [former head coach] Bill Belichick and Al Groh,” Holley said. “He doesn’t have the experience that [director of scouting] Eliot Wolf does.”

“The general manager has to be somebody you trust, somebody who has as much to lose as you do when you leave the room,” Holley added. “I’m going to say it right now definitively — will not be that guy for Jerod Mayo.”

Groh may not stay with New England anyway.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said “Groh’s going with Belichick” during the broadcast.

Patriots Analysts Doubt Eliot Wolf Will Land GM Job

Holley also ruled out Wolf despite previous assistant general manager experience.

“Eliot Wolf? Eh … maybe,” Holley said.

Wolf has been with the Patriots since 2020 in a consultant role followed by his current position. He previously served as assistant general manager for the Cleveland Browns from 2018 to 2019 after various front office roles with the Green Bay Packers from 2004 to 2017.

His Hall of Fame father, Ron Wolf, previously served as general manager from 1999 to 2000. The younger Wolf left Cleveland in 2020 after two losing seasons and his father calling out the Browns for too much reliance on analytics.

“So he would at least make the most sense to be the top decision maker while they figure out what they want to do,” NBC Sports Boston’s Mike Felger said.

Patriots Will Take Time on GM Move, Albert Breer Says

Breer believes the Patriots will take their time on the general manager move.

“I think they’re going to be forthright and investigate what they want to do over the next two or three months. Look at candidates. Bring people in. Talk to them. Evaluate the people in-house,” Breer said. “I think this could run up through the draft. I think it could happen earlier.”