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Bill O'Brien Arriving; Patriots Matt Patricia Leaving?

With Bill O'Brien hired as New England's offensive coordinator, what becomes of Matt Patricia's role with the Patriots?

FOXBORO -- With the hiring of new/old offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, Matt Patricia's days as New England Patriots' offensive play-caller have ended. 

Might his days on Bill Belichick's coaching staff be numbered, as well? 

Despite having taken on a multitude of tasks in 2022, including the duties of senior football advisor and offensive line coach, the 48-year-old may no longer factor into the team's future plans for a very significant reason. 

He may soon cease to be cost-effective.

After his dismissal as head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2020, Patricia was still owed the balance of his five-year contract with the organization. As a result, the Lions continued to pay him, despite his working with the Patriots in an advisory role. In taking on an 'advisor' title, as opposed to that of a 'coordinator,' Patricia was still able to collect a substantial salary from his previous employer, while receiving an offset amount from the Patriots. 

It is a pretty good system -- one which the Patriots know well. 

They previously made similar arrangements with Mike Lombardi (from the Cleveland Browns), Bret Bielema (from the University of Arkansas) and more-recently with Joe Judge after his firing from the New York Giants. 

With Detroit's financial obligations to Patricia set to expire at the conclusion of the 2022 season, New England now faces a bit of a conundrum. Starting in 2023, the Patriots would be on the hook for Patricia's full salary, which presumably would be significantly more than the conjectured nominal rate he was earning as an advisor to Belichick. 

Having watched both Bielema and Lombardi leave New England once their respective previous contracts had expired, NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran wonders whether a similar fate awaits Patricia.  

"We’ll see if the same happens with Patricia, whose Lions deal has now expired," Curran wrote. "I’m hearing he might be on his way out as well."

Patricia's lone season as New England's offensive architect will hardly be remembered with fondness. The Pats offense regressed from one showing significant promise (in 2021) to a subpar unit dwelling among the NFL's bottom teams. The 2022 iteration of Patriots finished 7th-worst in total yards while scoring only scored only 21.4 points per game (17th in the NFL). 

Quarterback Mac Jones also displayed notable discomfort in New England's new offensive system throughout the season. At times, the disconnect between the players and the coaching staff was so overt that Jones was observed hurling expletive-laden frustrations, believed to be in the direction of his coaches.

Previous reports theorized that Patricia would be “moving upstairs” into an advisory position similar to the one he held in 2021. To the delight of a large section of the Pats fan base, he will neither be calling plays, nor coaching the offensive line next season. 

Whether Patricia has a hand in the decision-making process, or even a parking space outside Gillette Stadium in the coming weeks will continue to catch the attention of Patriots fans and media alike as the new season approaches. 

Follow Mike D’Abate on Twitter @mdabateNFL and Listen/Subscribe to his daily podcast: Locked On Patriots

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