There have been two key debates floating around Patriots Nation for years.
If/when future Hall of Famers and G.O.A.T.s Bill Belichick and Tom Brady decide to retire, who fills the massive voids at head coach and quarterback that will be left behind for the Patriots?
While the decision as to Brady's heir will be made by the head coach/GM at the time – which could still be Belichick himself – the pick to run the Patriots after Belichick will be made by the Kraft family.
While many have assumed over the years that Josh McDaniels might be the head coach-in-waiting in Foxborough, the Boston Herald offers up a different candidate with a history in New England. In a strangely-timed column, Herald columnist Tom Keegan "can't think of a better person to top the list of potential successors to the NFL's best coach" than current Titans head coach and former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel.
The Herald also notes that the Patriots worked out a restructured contract with trade-addition defensive end Michael Bennett. The Herald passes on word that former New England character coach Jack Easterby has moved on to a job with the Texans.
The Boston Globe writes that the Patriots "dysfunctional offseason would crush most teams." Globe columnist Chris Gasper seems to question the motives behind some of the NFL's recent rules changes. The Globe also notes that the upstart AAF has suspended operations less than a season into its existence.
The Providence Journal says the Patriots would be wise to search for their next QB in the draft.
WEEI.com writes that New England "will need to get creative during the NFL draft." Whether people really want it or not, WEEI.com did a deeper dive into Brady's social media work to come up with seven takeaways from the quarterbacks first 100 Twitter follows. Apparently fixated on Brady's Twitter action, WEEI.com also notes Brady's back-and-forth with fellow Under Armour pitchman Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Sports Illustrated has a column from former agent and Packers executive Andrew Brandt in which he questions the "free pass" that Rob Gronkowski got for his partying ways during his career. Brandt wrote, "I look back shaking my head at the free pass that Gronk constantly received from fans and media, even beyond New England. "Gronk being Gronk" became an easy catchphrase and rationalization about behavior that (1) was certainly not admirable and (2) would not create the same response for other players."
NBC Sports Boston passes on an NFL Network report that money is an issues in negotiations between the Patriots and free agent kicker Stephen Gostkowski. NBC Sports Boston offers up another mock draft and it's another annoying slideshow!
NFL.com has analyst Charles Davis' second mock draft, this one sending versatile Kansas State tackle Dalton Risner to the Patriots at No. 32.
The Lowell Sun says the Patriots need to "make this draft count."