Patriots miss another opportunity to bring back former Patriot

Oct 8, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA;  New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo
Oct 8, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Before the decision to part ways with Bill Belichick was made official, rumors swirled about who Robert Kraft wanted to succeed the long-time head coach. One of the most consistent names was Mike Vrabel, who was seemingly fired due to comments he made while being inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame last season during the Titans' bye week.

He remained at the top of the list once Belichick was let go and was the favorite to become the team's next head coach. That didn't last much longer, though, as Jerod Mayo was announced the following day to take over the role for the 2023 season.

The decision was met with mixed reactions, mainly due to Mayo's lack of experience as a coordinator before being promoted to such a significant position. It was a factor that many couldn't let go of since Vrabel was a free agent and had proven himself to be an effective head coach throughout the six years he spent in Tennessee.

That ultimately made him the most desirable candidate for any team needing a solid head coach, but he wasn't hired anywhere for the season ahead, therefore creating the opportunity for him to return to Foxboro in a different role.

There was some hope he would be hired by Mayo as the next defensive coordinator or assistant head coach, but that never happened.

Vrabel remained unhired throughout the offseason until Friday when the Browns announced they were hiring him as a consultant.

It was another reminder that the Patriots missed a chance to bring back a former Patriot and veteran coach to help Mayo on his new journey in Foxboro.

Maybe he wouldn't have wanted to return to his former team, or there wasn't a role he was interested in. It's possible the new regime wasn't looking at him for any position either, but it feels like they could've used him in some capacity to help navigate a very tough offseason and first year for many of the personnel.

Vrabel seemed to hint at wanting to rejoin the Patriots in some way, hence the basis of his firing from the Titans, so some sort of offer probably would've gotten him in the building.

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