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Patriots bracing for Matt Patricia to exit, likely for Detroit

The Patriots are preparing to lose Matt Patricia to a head coaching position, but they may still have Josh McDaniels come next season.

The band is going to be breaking up, but not in the way that some envisioned.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Patriots are bracing for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to leave, most likely to become the next coach of the Detroit Lions.

Patricia, who has a degree in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic, joined the Patriots in 2004. He became the defensive coordinator in 2012.

Regarded as brilliant in all matters, Patricia also is believed to be more than ready to take over a team of his own. He has, we’re told, a very good relationship with Lions G.M. Bob Quinn, who previously worked for the Patriots.

One knock on Patricia came from his decision to wear the distinctive Barstool Sports T-shirt with an image of Commissioner Roger Goodell in a clown nose while exiting the team plane after Super Bowl LI. Goodell, as PFT reported in July, was still miffed about the gesture. However, it’s currently not believed that 345 Park Avenue will in any way try to throw a wrench into the process of the Lions hiring Patricia.

Of course, the Lions will have to wait until the Patriots’ season ends before hiring Patricia. The longer the job remains open, the more obvious a candidate Patricia will become, like Kyle Shanahan last year in San Francisco and Dan Quinn three years ago in Atlanta.