The Patriots find themselves in a precarious position heading into Week 7 with just one win on the board and a lot of season left to play. Although there are some possible wins on the remaining schedule, the usual dominant team has played so uncharacteristically bad this year that it's almost foolish to assume they can beat presumed worse teams the rest of the way.
Because of that, several fans and even some media members have made a point to suggest Bill Belichick should actively try to tank in order to gain a better draft pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft next April. Whether they will want to address the offensive line, quarterback, or wide receiver, the higher the selection, the better chance they have of getting a franchise-changing player.
Even though that may be true, a lot of that discussion seemed to be from those who have already concluded the season is a wash and Mac Jones is not the quarterback of the future. With that mindset, wanting a higher draft pick makes sense, particularly for a quarterback.
The problem with that thinking is that there hasn't been any indication during his nearly five-decade career in the NFL that Belichick would be willing to purposely lose any game, never mind for the sole purpose of getting a higher draft pick.
But that may be changing, at least according to the latest rumor coming out of Foxboro.
According to Boston Sports Journal's Mike Giardi, there are whispers regarding some in the Patriots' front office wanting the team to lose more games than win, agreeing with some of the fans that a better draft position is worth the losses.
"Plenty of folks in the upper reaches of the building would rather have more losses than a win or two that could cost draft positioning. In fact, some are already talking about next year. That's what 1-5 will do for you."
It's certainly an interesting development when considering this would mean Belichick's mindset switch regarding how to coach and the importance of winning games. Girardi didn't reveal if the head coach has been spoken to about the alleged preference of some in the organization, but we may get somewhat of an inkling as the season progresses.
At the same time, however, it feels like everyone, including Robert Kraft, would have to be on board. And it's hard to believe that would ever come to fruition.
It may be something all could eventually be on board with if the season has a bleaker outlook over the next few weeks. Belichick may be interested if it helps him remain as the team's head coach, while Kraft may be interested because of that reason as well. Or, if he's planning on replacing the head coach, having an optimal first-round pick may be more enticing to a new head coach or GM next season.
It's a confusing situation and just rumors at this point, and because the season isn't even halfway through yet, a lot can change. But this new rumor is an interesting plot twist, that's for sure.