Rumor suggests why top candidate didn't land Patriots offensive coordinator job

Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos / Tyler Schank/GettyImages

Once it was announced that Jerod Mayo would succeed Bill Belichick as the head coach of the Patriots, there were many questions about what would happen with the tenured staff, some of whom were assumed to follow the former coach to his new team. Once it was clear Belichick would be sitting out of the 2024 season, it became a question of who would remain on Mayo's staff and who would be moving elsewhere.

One of the early departures was Bill O'Brien, who had only returned to New England as the offensive coordinator for the 2023 season. Although he wasn't the sole issue for the struggling offense, some believed he was likely a contributor who didn't necessarily put the team in a position to succeed.

With him moving on to become Boston College's head coach, the Patriots would have to find their fourth offensive coordinator in four years, an ugly situation becoming even uglier.

Many top candidates were interviewed but were also heavily pursued by several teams around the league needing a new play-caller. The Patriots lost out on several highly touted candidates, creating uneasiness amongst fans and the media about who would be left to take the role, especially for a team amid a significant rebuild.

Former Patriots staffer and current Rams tight end coach Nick Caley was the leading candidate for several weeks. But the longer it took to hire him, the less likely it seemed a deal would get done. Eventually, it was announced Alex Van Pelt was hired to become the next OC, prompting many to wonder what happened with Caley, a prominent candidate for most teams in recent years.

Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard revealed what he heard during the Senior Bowl about the situation, yet nothing concrete has been discovered about why the deal never got done.

” … Everyone else had options, including Nick Caley, who appeared to be the leading candidate for a while. Did he ask for too much money, even more than Bill O’Brien earned, to leave Sean McVay’s staff and LA, where his family was enjoying life? That was the prevalent rumor at the Senior Bowl.”

It seems like a possible scenario, even more so for a team that needed to hire an almost entirely new staff. So, it would make sense that they may be more hesitant to hand over the big bucks to any coach.

However, given the significant need to upgrade the team and improve their chances of success, it doesn't seem like the brightest idea not to be willing to give your leading candidate what they want if it isn't too unreasonable, especially if you really believe in their talent.

Maybe it won't be a decision that will bite the Patriots in the end, with Van Pelt coming in with rave reviews from former players and coaches he's worked with throughout his career. Let's hope that's the case, or it will certainly be a story we follow up on in the future.

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