Bengals’ Senior Executive Declines Interview For Patriots General Manager Search

The New England Patriots have initiated the process of seeking a new leader for their head of football operations role. With director of scouting Eliot Wolf assuming the de facto general manager role since Bill Belichick’s departure earlier this offseason, Wolf emerges as a likely candidate for the position.

Sunday Patriots Notes: Eliot Wolf playing a big role in new-look front  office - Pats Pulpit

However, the Patriots must adhere to the Rooney Rule, mandating the interviewing of at least two external minority candidates. Many are well aware that Wolf is most likely the Patriots’ top choice following his coordination of such an important offseason for the Patriots, so it may be a struggle to get viable top candidates from outside the organization to agree to an interview.

Cincinnati Bengals‘ senior personnel executive Trey Brown has reportedly declined the Patriots’ interview request, as per Tom Pelissero of NFL Media. While the reason behind Brown’s decision remains undisclosed, it raises questions, especially since Wolf is widely considered the frontrunner for the role.

Brown has been considered a top candidate for a general manager role as he has three prior interviews for general manager positions, including opportunities with the Bills in May 2017, the Raiders in December 2018, and another with the Raiders in January 2022.

Brown Began His Career in New England

A return to New England would mark a homecoming for Trey Brown, who kickstarted his front-office journey as a scout for the Patriots. Following his tenure in New England, Brown embarked on a significant chapter with the Philadelphia Eagles, eventually ascending to the esteemed position of director of college scouting. After brief stints in alternative football leagues such as the AAF and XFL, Brown transitioned to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021, initially joining as a scout. Within a year, he earned a promotion to senior personnel executive.

Brown’s tenure with the Bengals coincided with the team’s resurgence on the field, and his contributions earned him accolades within the organization. His emergence as a sought-after talent in the NFL executive landscape has been evident for quite some time. While Brown has yet to secure a role as general manager, his track record and potential have positioned him as a prime candidate for future general manager openings, as highlighted by Tom Pelissero.

Aside From Wolf, Are The Patriots a Coveted Landing Spot?

Eliot Wolf’s extensive contributions to roster management and salary cap strategies over recent months, underscored by the bold move to draft quarterback Drake Maye as the third overall pick, position him as a leading contender, if not the frontrunner, for the role. And with Wolf leading the Patriots through this past offseason, does that make the Patriots a less than appealing landing spot for potential general manager candidates?

Add the fact that the Patriots have started a new rebuild with many pivotal decisions already made and the harsh reality that they have a rookie head coach looking to fill some major shoes, and maybe this isn’t a very desired option.

Perhaps some lower-level candidates may take the interview to gain some experience. Still, it’s hard to imagine that any serious candidates for general manager openings around the NFL would jump at the opportunity to interview for a position that feels like it already belongs to an executive in the building.

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