It’s become abundantly clear Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf is running the show in New England, but the organization has no plans on giving him a title to match his newfound responsibilities.

It’s a weird move on their part, but we now have a glimpse as to why they’re approaching it this way.

The Patriots essentially are skirting the Rooney Rule.

Bill Belichick has long been listed as the New England’s “primary football executive,” a designation required by the NFL that informs the entire league as to who is running football operations for each organization, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports. Patriots executive Matt Groh was listed as their “secondary football executive” last season.

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Those positions have both been vacated, according to Jones. The Patriots have no plans to fill them, either, avoiding the requirement of opening up a full search — which includes interviewing at least two external minority candidates — before making a decision. That’s better known as the Rooney Rule.

The Patriots avoided a coaching search because there was a provision in head coach Jerod Mayo’s contract that allowed him to be promoted to the position. There was no such provision for any of New England’s executives, so the easiest way out is to just leave those spots open. That leaves the Patriots susceptible to losing members of the front office, though, as they can’t block anyone from interviewing with another organization.

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There’s “been some talk” of the Patriots running a search following the 2024 NFL Draft, according to Jones, but he claims sources find that unlikely.

It’s hard to argue New England had any malicious intent behind their decision-making process, but taking this route opens them up for criticism. Mayo told reporters at his introductory press conference that he believed “titles are important.” He must have just meant when it was convenient.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images