Patriots' big offseason thing: Patience in a post-Belichick world

Yahoo Sports' Jason Fitz looks at the one big thing for New England's offseason - it's first since 2000 without Bill Belichick at the helm - and why there will need to be extreme patience with Jerod Mayo taking over the team.

Video Transcript

JASON FITZ: The Super Bowl is in the rearview mirror, and that means it's time to look ahead at one big thing facing the New England Patriots this offseason. The answer here, to quote Guns N' Roses, is just a little patience. I can't whistle. Otherwise, I would. But my point here is that the Patriots are not on the verge of being a contender. I don't think they're on the verge of being anywhere close to what they've been for a very long time.

They have holes across the roster and need to figure out what their new identity is with Jerod Mayo as their head coach and no longer shaped in the form of Bill Belichick. Now, we can make jokes about Mayo being a copy of Bill Belichick. But he's his own man, and he's going to have to come into this role and assert his own personality into this team. On top of all of that, there's going to have to be a reshuffling of the deck when it comes to talent that they have.

That's why the Patriots particularly have to make an interesting decision at pick number three. I would argue a new coach would never want to go into this season and the regime of trying to replace Bill Belichick with Mac Jones as your starting quarterback. That feels like a lose-lose situation for everybody involved. So it's easy to see the Patriots sitting at three and taking the third-best quarterback, but only if they trust their evaluations enough to believe that that third-best quarterback is an epic player.

Because realistically, when you start thinking about how many needs the Patriots have in their roster, they become one of the first teams we can look at and say, hey, this makes a ton of sense this year going into the draft to simply consider trading down, acquiring as much as possible. Because this rebuild, I don't believe, is going to be a one-season thing.

This is a long-term process of establishing a better bottom line for your talent as a team. And it's a long-term process to try and figure out how to contend. I'm not sure if you drafted somebody and put them on New England right now, even if they were Superman, if they could win a lot of football games. So maybe for the Patriots, it makes sense.

The one big thing they're going to have to ask themselves is how patient are they willing to be in the first chapter that not only doesn't have Tom Brady but also doesn't have Bill Belichick. If the answer to that is extensively patient, then I think the Patriots are a perfect candidate to trade down. If the answer is they're not willing to do that, and they want to win right away, it'll be interesting to see just how aggressive New England gets.