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What’s in Store for the Future of the Patriots

By: Ryan Guilbeau

As Patriots fans grieve the loss of the Super Bowl LII,  our thoughts turn to next season. Despite a disappointing end, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles by a final score of 41-33, there is hope. Though it may not mean too much this early on, the Patriots are still the team favored to win the Super Bowl next year. However, that Super Bowl team will have many different players and coaches.

Right off the bat, the day after the Super Bowl, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia accepted a job to become the Detroit Lions next head coach. This move wasn’t really a shocker to anyone, as Patricia was very likely to accept that job. The most likely candidate to replace Patricia is Brian Flores who was the linebackers coach this year.

February 6th was a rollercoaster of emotions for the Patriots organization. Josh McDaniels, the offensive coordinator for the Pats, accepted an offer to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts at about 8:00 A.M. However, that night, he backed out and decided to remain the offensive coordinator in New England. This turn of events was quite shocking. There were some rumors beforehand that McDaniels wasn’t going to accept the Colts’ offer, but like Patricia it wasn’t very surprising when he was announced as the next head coach of the Colts.

However, I don’t think anyone saw it coming when he backed out. This is great news for the Patriots, but really bad for the Colts. This is because once McDaniels accepted the offer the other candidates took other jobs. Now the Colts are back to square one, with very limited options.

In other Patriots news, the night of the Super Bowl in a postgame press conference, when asked about a report that he was potentially retiring, Rob Gronkowski stated, “I don’t know how you heard that but I mean I’m definitely going to look at my future, for sure. I’m going to sit down the next couple of weeks and see where I’m at.”

So not only did the Patriots suffer a defeat in Super Bowl LII, but their star tight end’s future with the team is up in the air. I, however, do not think Gronk actually will retire this year. I think he might have been reacting in the heat of the moment, frustrated by the loss.

Also, Gronk hasn’t really shown signs of slowing down as he is one of the best, if not,  the best tight end in the NFL. He is 28, which in football terms is on the older side, and he has suffered many injuries. He has torn his ACL, MCL, and sustained many concussions. He has also broken his arm, and ha some lingering lower back problems.  I could see him retiring for his safety, even though he is still a great player. We’ll have to see, but I don’t think he will retire this season.

One of the most talked about topics with the Super Bowl is Malcolm Butler. One of the  team’s best cornerbacks did not play a single snap in the Super Bowl, and it is still a little fuzzy as to why. There were some reports saying that he missed curfews and had heated arguments with coaches. However, Butler denied these reports and Coach Belichick only answered that it was a football decision.

Either way, I can’t see Butler as a member of the team next season. There were rumors swirling that he wanted out of New England before the season started, and if he wanted out then he certainly wants out now after being benched for the whole Super Bowl. He is a free agent, so I do not see him resigning with the Patriots.

Even though there will be players leaving the Patriots, I could see some new players joining as well. The Patriots are notorious for being a great football team, so I think some NFL veterans who have never won a Super Bowl could come to New England in hopes of one similarly to when James Harrison signed earlier in the season.  Players like Vontae Davis, Jamaal Charles, and Sheldon Richardson are three guys who I could see wearing a Patriots uniform next year.

The Patriots did not become back-to-back champions this season, and yet, they still have a very bright future, with maybe some new faces on the field next season.

 

Sources used:

www.WEEI.com

@AdamSchefter twitter

www.ESPN.com

www.nfl.com

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