Rob Gronkowski has not yet committed to playing in 2018. Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe offers an interesting theory as to why the Patriots made an eleventh hour push to retain offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, a theory that has been proffered by two separate league sources. Volin says team brass was taken aback by Bill Belichick‘s controversial decision to bench Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII, and he says the Krafts were also surprised that Belichick was able to wrangle only a second-round pick in exchange for Jimmy Garoppolo. As such, Volin suggests that keeping McDaniels really may have been less about having a succession plan and more about giving the Krafts more control over the situation. He writes, “[i]f the tension between the Krafts, Belichick, and [Tom] Brady persists, or if Belichick decides to leave the organization in the next year or two, the Krafts now have a backup plan in McDaniels.” 

  • Former Patriot Willie McGinest said on the NFL Network that he spoke with McDaniels, and that McDaniels said there was “absolutely not” any type of guarantee that he would succeed Belichick as New England’s head coach (link via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk). McDaniels did indicate, however, that he would have job security with the Patriots.
  • Citing a “high-level executive” with a rival team, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report says that there is another angle to the Pats’ efforts to keep McDaniels. That executive believes that New England is going to find its quarterback of the future this offseason, and the team wants McDaniels to be around to identify and develop that player.
  • Speaking of QBs the Patriots might target in this year’s draft, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com spoke to Senior Bowl executive director and former Browns GM Phil Savage to see who might be Garoppolo 2.0 (assuming, of course, that the upper-echelon passers will be long gone by the time New England is on the clock with the No. 31 overall pick). Savage named Washington State’s Luke Falk, Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, and Western Kentucky’s Mike White as potential fits, with Lauletta’s skill-set most closely mirroring Garoppolo’s.
  • In the same piece, Reiss reports that the sources close to the situation that he trusts the most say that the decision to bench Butler in Super Bowl LII was purely a football decision, as the team has insisted from the jump. Nonetheless, Reiss does not seem entirely convinced, as he indicates he will do more digging into the matter.
  • Reiss believes, as most do, that Rob Gronkowski will return in 2018 and will not hang up the cleats just yet. Volin says it would be hard to blame Gronk if he did walk away, but he believes the tight end’s comments about retirement are probably just laying the foundation for a new contract, or at least for an incentive package similar to the one the Patriots gave him in 2017.
Patriots News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

This article first appeared on Pro Football Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

New format leads to competitive NBA All-Star Game

Big crash takes Danica Patrick out of Daytona 500

NFL teams wondering if Marcus Peters will be traded

Adam Silver floats seeding playoff teams regardless of conference

Paul George wants his next team to be his last team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mayweather Sr. indicates Floyd Jr. is training for UFC

10 takeaways from the first week of the Winter Olympics

Detroit GM 'at top of list' to run potential Seattle franchise

Evan Longoria feels ‘sorry’ for Rays fans after latest moves

‘No indication’ Royals are trying to re-sign Mike Moustakas

Mets GM on Tebow: 'I think he will play in the major leagues'

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

10 NFL offseason moves that need to happen

Champions League Round of 16 preview, predictions

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

Big surprises, disappointments heading into NBA All-Star break

Signing A.J. McCarron would be a typical Browns move

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

Patriots News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

The 'Hope springs eternal' quiz

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

The 'My Bronny valentine' quiz

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

The '100-point game that you never heard about' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker