Many Patriots fans are in a hurry to move on from Bill Belichick. And that makes sense, as Belichick’s personnel shortcomings have played a huge role in New England sinking to the depths of irrelevance.

However, in their rush to run Belichick ahead of town, many have overlooked one key variable: If the legendary head coach leaves, what else would make the Patriots an attractive destination for free agents? Why would some of their in-house free agents even want to stay?

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Offensive lineman Mike Onwenu, who’ll hit the open market this offseason, recently offered insight into whether Belichick’s future in New England could impact his own.

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“He’s been a great coach to me,” Onwenu told Sophie Weller of A to Z Sports. “It’s kind of similar to my college route, or not really route, but just like the transition of being a young guy to an older guy. Going to Michigan, had Jim Harbaugh, I’ve kind of been in a system or similar system of how the Patriots are run.

“No, I don’t think (Belichick leaving would impact his decision). I mean, the team is the team. That’s why it’s a foundation and that’s why it’s a team. It’s not really built on one person, but he does play a big role. He has played a big role for this team and this organization.”

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When asked whether he hopes Belichick will stay with the Patriots, Onwenu added: “Yeah I would like him to stay. I mean, it suits him. I don’t see him anywhere else.”

Earlier this month, it appeared Belichick leaving the Patriots was a foregone conclusion. However, recent reporting indicates franchise owner Robert Kraft is “conflicted” on how to handle the future Hall of Famer.

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Regardless of whether Belichick is around, New England should prioritize re-signing Onwenu. The good news is all indications are he wants to stay.

“It’s really where I built myself, turning into the person that I am,” he told Weller. “They took the opportunity on me, drafting me in the sixth round. So, I always like to, not necessarily prove doubters wrong, but I like to prove myself right.

“I always like to put my best foot forward and just prove that I’m supposed to be here.”

Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images