Patriots, Matt Patricia reportedly might part ways before 2023 season

For the past two years, Matt Patricia has pretty much been attached to Bill Belichick’s hip.

Belichick was happy to hire him in Jan. 2021, and put him to work in a variety of roles, while the Detroit Lions still paid Patricia after firing him midway through the 5-year contract he signed to be their head coach. Only now, with the Lions no longer on the hook, Patricia could be on his way out after his first and only season as the team’s offensive play-caller, a Herald source confirms.

The Patriots recently announced they will be hiring an offensive coordinator, the first sign Patricia will be in a new role next season.  To date, five candidates, including front-runner Bill O’Brien, have been interviewed for that post. Patricia might also be moved from his position as the team’s offensive line coach.

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran, who was first with the report, noted the Patriots’ history of parting with coaches and executives once they’re not longer paid by other teams.

“Interestingly, both [Bret] Bielema and [Mike] Lombardi moved on from the Patriots when contracts with their old employers ran out and the Patriots would have to start paying,” Curran wrote. “We’ll see if the same happens with Patricia, whose Lions deal has now expired.”

Patricia had been with the Patriots for 13 years as part of Belichick’s staff from 2004-17. He started as a coaching assistant, before eventually becoming the team’s defensive coordinator. He was part of two championships teams in that role.

In 2018, the Lions hired him to be their head coach, but fired him two-plus years later after a 13-29-1 record.

Patricia initially resurfaced with the Patriots as a Senior Football Advisor in 2021, then Belichick handed him the reins to the offense following the departure of Josh McDaniels. Under Patricia, the Pats offense averaged 18.1 points per game.  As for Joe Judge, another first-year offensive assistant being paid by another team, he’s still on the books with the New York Giants, who fired him after the 2021 season.