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Matt Patricia makes his mark for the Patriots in free agency

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons evaluate how well the teams in the AFC have done in free agency, naming which teams have done the best, such as the NE Patriots, and which have done the worst, like the Baltimore Ravens.

Matt Patricia has returned to the Patriots, with an unspecified role. Generally, he’s there to assist the coaching staff. And by “coaching staff,” that likely means head coach Bill Belichick.

Patricia’s name appears nowhere on the team’s official website. It has appeared, via Mike Reiss of, on the bottom of some of the contracts signed by players during free agency.

Reiss explains that Patricia has helped to finalize contracts, signing his name to some of them on behalf of the team. Reiss says that Patricia also has been involved in some negotiations “as a salesman of sorts.”

The selling has been working, given the raw number of players the Patriots have added to a roster that, based on last season, needs plenty of help.

Patricia was a long-time assistant coach in New England before becoming head coach of the Lions in 2018. Regardless of how things went in Detroit -- and obviously they didn’t go well -- the Patriots long have respected Patricia for his intellect. The fact that Belichick so quickly welcomed Patricia back confirms that, regardless of what went wrong with the Lions, Belichick knows there’s plenty of ways Patricia can help the Patriots get back to what they were before 2020.