Former NFL GM maps out potential Patriots trade offer for Titans coach Mike Vrabel


“This can only happen if Vrabel is serious about moving on as well.”

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel looks onto the field from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Tampa, Fla.
Mike Vrabel could be a potential target for the Patriots if they do move on from Bill Belichick. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

If the Patriots do opt to move on from Bill Belichick after a disastrous 2023 season, the early favorite to succeed the future Hall of Famer in New England is current linebackers coach Jerod Mayo. 

But if Robert Kraft and New England look to cast a wider net in their search for a new head coach, could a Patriots Hall of Famer currently holding the reins of another NFL team be a viable target?

Earlier this month, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reported that current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel could be a potential coaching candidate in New England. 

“Two sources close to the Patriots have independently said the same thing: They believe Vrabel, currently the Titans’ coach, is the Krafts’ “home run” choice to succeed Belichick,” Volin wrote.

Such a scenario is not lost on former NFL GM Randy Mueller, who outlined a potential trade that the Patriots could pull off in order to pry Vrabel out of Tennessee.

“If I were Kraft, I’d reach out owner to owner and offer a 2024 second-round pick, as it will be a high one,” Mueller wrote in The Athletic. “I would not touch a pick in the top 10 because I’m not willing to give up the farm, and if I were the Titans I might counter to acquire an additional pick in a subsequent year.

“This can only happen if Vrabel is serious about moving on as well. And there might be another team that would offer more for a coach of Vrabel’s status, though the league might fight the idea of a draft pick bidding war for a coach.”

If that’s the price for Vrabel, the Patriots would have to be sure that the former All-Pro linebacker is the right man for the job.

Even if New England avoided relinquishing a first-round pick for Vrabel, their second-round selection would also be a valued asset. And considering that New England’s sputtering offense is in need of help all across the depth chart, another pick in the low 30s could come in handy as the Patriots try to rebuild a new core in the years ahead.

Vrabel has posted a record of 51-40 since taking over in Tennessee in 2018, winning the 2021 NFL Coach of the Year Award after leading the Titans to a 12-5 record that year.

Even though the Titans are just 10-16 since the start of the 2022 season, the case can also be made that their pedestrian results are due to quarterback injuries and a disastrous trade that shipped star wideout A.J. Brown to the Eagles back in April 2022.