Robert Kraft expected the Patriots to be back in the playoffs this season. But with that now looking like a pipe dream following a 1-5 start, some within the organization reportedly would be fine with bottoming out.

Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi on Wednesday reported that “(p)lenty of folks in the upper reaches of the building would rather have more losses than a win or two that could cost draft positioning.”

“In fact,” Giardi wrote, “some are already talking about next year. That’s what 1-5 will do for you.”

The Patriots are off to their worst start to a season since 1995 and easily could sink lower in the coming weeks, with challenging divisional matchups against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins up next on their schedule. If they sit at 1-7 entering the Oct. 31 NFL trade deadline, it would be hard to argue against selling off whatever pieces they can and acquiring as much draft capital as possible for 2024.

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If the season ended Thursday, the Patriots would own the sixth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. They have clear needs at multiple offensive positions (especially wide receiver and tackle) and with Mac Jones not looking like the long-term answer behind center, could use a premium pick on a stud quarterback if they’re able to land one.

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USC’s Caleb Williams is widely expected to go first overall, with North Carolina’s Drake Maye likely to come off the board shortly thereafter.

Bill Belichick’s job security is an important variable to consider, however. If there’s a chance he won’t be retained by the team for next season, would he be willing to trade away players for future considerations, thereby hurting his own effort to catch Don Shula on the NFL’s all-time wins list?

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The Patriots will look to snap a three-game losing streak this Sunday when they host a Bills team they’ve beaten just once since 2019.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images