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Eliot Wolf officially named Patriots’ de facto GM, gets new title

Eliot Wolf officially named Patriots’ de facto GM, gets new title originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

As expected, Eliot Wolf will lead the New England Patriots front office for the foreseeable future.

The Patriots ended their brief search for a de facto general manager Saturday, officially naming Wolf as their “executive vice president of player personnel.” Wolf’s responsibilities will include “the overall direction of the personnel department, the management of the salary cap, and control of the 53-man roster,” according to the team.

The Patriots’ announcement included the following statement from team owner Robert Kraft:

“As I have stated multiple times during the offseason, the plan was to observe the working relationship and involvement between Eliot and Jerod (Mayo) and see how they managed our offseason personnel decisions. Then, following the draft we would formally undertake a process for setting up the permanent structure of our personnel department. I have been impressed with Eliot’s management style and experience and I’m excited that he has agreed to take on this new position.”

Wolf unofficially took over as New England’s front office leader following Bill Belichick’s departure in January. The 41-year-old navigated the Patriots through NFL free agency as well as the draft, during which the team selected UNC quarterback Drake Maye with the No. 3 overall pick.

Before making Wolf’s promotion official, the Patriots had to satisfy the NFL’s Rooney Rule by interviewing at least two minority candidates for the position. They completed interviews with former Carolina Panthers cap chief Samir Suleiman and Philadelphia Eagles exec Brandon Hunt, but Wolf was considered the overwhelming favorite from the beginning.

“It is an honor to accept this position with the New England Patriots,” Wolf said. “I am grateful to the Kraft family for this opportunity and want to thank my family, especially my wife and children, for the support and strength they have given me as I move forward in my new role. I also want to thank all of the people I have worked with and learned from over the years.”

Wolf isn’t lacking experience in an NFL front office. He originally joined the Green Bay Packers as a pro personnel assistant in 2004. He ascended the ranks in Green Bay, eventually becoming the director of football operations for his final two seasons with the team in 2016 and ’17. Prior to joining the Patriots, Wolf served as the Cleveland Browns’ assistant general manager in 2018 and ’19.

Wolf’s promotion marks the start of a new era in Foxboro. Other than Scott Pioli (2000-08), only Belichick has had control over personnel decisions over the last 24 years.