The New England Patriots have already interviewed five candidates for their vacant offensive coordinator role, and Bill O'Brien appears to be the frontrunner. But even if O'Brien lands the job, it's possible the other candidates could land different gigs in New England.
During an appearance on NBC Sports Boston's "Sports Sunday," Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reiterated that O'Brien becoming the Patriots' next offensive coordinator is the "likely scenario" based on his familiarity with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Mac Jones, who actually helped O'Brien learn the Alabama offense when O'Brien took the Crimson Tide OC job in 2021.
Breer added that O'Brien has spoken to other teams, so New England hiring him isn't a done deal. If the Patriots can hire O'Brien, though, they may consider also hiring either Adrian Klemm, Shawn Jefferson or Keenan McCardell in other assistant coach roles while trying to keep tight ends coach Nick Caley on staff.
"Bill O'Brien has talked to other teams, I know that," Breer said. "He hasn't formally interviewed with any of them, but if you look at the sort of structure of the interviews and the way that this has all happened, it feels at least like Bill O'Brien is going to be the offensive coordinator, and the other four guys could wind up on staff in some capacity: Adrian Klemm potentially as a run game coordinator/offensive line coach -- he's not gonna come cheap; he's making almost $1 million at Oregon right now -- Shawn Jefferson potentially coming in as a receivers coach, and on down the line."
Curran: Patriots' OC search shows Belichick's comfort trumps all
Matt Patricia served as the Patriots' offensive play-caller and offensive line coach in 2022 and didn't find much success with either job. That might motivate New England to relieve him of both duties by hiring O'Brien and Klemm, who won three Super Bowls with the Patriots as an offensive lineman from 2000 to 2004. (For what it's worth, our Tom E. Curran reported that Patricia potentially could be "on his way out" of New England this offseason.)
The Patriots would have to pay significantly more to hire both coaches after the Detroit Lions paid Patricia's salary in 2022, but they may decide it's worth the cost to try to get the offense back on track.
Jefferson and McCardell -- who both played for Belichick as wide receivers -- could be potential wide receivers coach candidates, although New England has a well-respected ex-Patriot currently in that role in Troy Brown. Caley, meanwhile, has received interest from at least one other team as an offensive coordinator candidate and could decide to seek greener pastures if he doesn't get promoted to OC in New England.
It sounds like the Patriots are serious about upgrading their coaching situation, however, and that may result in more than one new face joining the staff in 2023.