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Patriots "moving forward" with search for top personnel executive; Eliot Wolf "considered a candidate"

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Jacoby Brissett excited for QB competition with Drake Maye in New England 01:17

BOSTON -- After the parting of ways with Bill Belichick in January, the keys to the Patriots' front office were essentially handed over to Eliot Wolf. Yet now with the start of free agency and a critical draft in the rearview, Wolf is now just a candidate to try to reclaim the job that he unofficially held over the past several months.

CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones reported Monday that the Patriots are "moving forward with a search for their next top football executive, a role that would amount to what's typically known in the NFL as a general manager."

According to Jones, Robert Kraft could not have just named Wolf as the top football executive in New England, as the team must comply with the Rooney Rule by interviewing two external minority candidates for the position.

The position, of course, was unofficially occupied by Bill Belichick for the past two decades-plus, as the former head coach also served as the de facto general manager. And while Jerod Mayo took the title of head coach, the general manager job has yet to be officially given to anyone.

Yet it would be quite a surprise if Wolf doesn't end up in the role. Not only did he run the draft room for the most important draft the franchise has had in 30 years, but he also played a significant role in hiring much of the new coaching staff, relying on his working relationships from his time in Cleveland and Green Bay.

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