Three long-term questions the New England Patriots will have to face

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The New England Patriots will have to make some heavy decisions in future offseasons. What are their top three most urgent long-term questions? Even though the team is positioning themselves to be competitive this year, they will still need to face some tough decisions in future offseasons, perhaps starting as soon as the 2024 offseason.

Depending on how the 2023 season goes, the team could undergo a ton of change next year or hardly any at all. There is so much at stake for the organization in the coming campaign. Many, many jobs are on the line.

Let's look at three long-term questions the New England Patriots may have to answer.

Three long-term questions the New England Patriots will have to face
1. Who is taking over for Bill Belichick, and how much longer does he last?

Bill Belichick is likely entering the final couple seasons as head coach of the New England Patriots. He's enjoyed perhaps the best career of any HC in the history of the NFL, but I think time is about up. If the Patriots don't make the playoffs this year, I think change is coming.

If that does happen, or whenever it does, who takes over? Will it be the apparent favorite, Jerod Mayo? Or will someone else break out as the successor to BB? This is going to be a major organizational change for the Pats that could be coming very soon.

2. What are their long-term plans at the tackle positions?

The Patriots seem to have a very solid offensive interior with Cole Strange, David Andrews, and Mike Onwenu. They really can't do much to upgrade that current trio, and they would be wise to keep them together for as long as possible.

However, what is the long-term plan at tackle? It's clear that Trent Brown and Riley Reiff, the two current projected starting tackles, are likely not going to be on the team in 2024. They do have both Connor McDermott and Calvin Anderson under contract, but neither appears to be starting material.

The Patriots may have to make a significant investment in the NFL Draft if they want to find a couple of long-term solutions at left and right tackle. Or, at least finding a long-term solution at left tackle.

3. What is the QB plan if Mac Jones is not the answer?

If Mac Jones does not shut the door on this QB situation in 2023, the New England Patriots are bound to go in a different direction. I think he's on very thin ice coming into 2023 anyway, so I don't anticipate the Patriots giving him that long of a leash.

Well, if Jones is not the guy, and Bailey Zappe isn't either, where do the Patriots turn? Do they head towards a rebuild and target someone in a future NFL Draft? Do they use draft picks and players to potentially trade for one in the future? There is so much variation with this position and endless avenues for the Pats to take.

If the team is competitive in 2023 and Mac Jones bounces back, this won't be an issue, thankfully.