The Patriots moved off from a Bill Belichick tactic and handed out a few important titles after the legendary coach’s departure. DeMarcus Covington is New England’s new defensive coordinator, while Alex Van Pelt will be in charge of running the offense.

Not every recent shift of power in Foxboro, Mass. received an official designation, though.

The Patriots currently don’t have a general manager on their front office staff list. The role effectively belongs to Eliot Wolf, who is spearheading New England’s 2024 draft preparation and will have final say on the franchise’s highest pick in over three decades. But Wolf, who’s been with the Patriots since 2020, is listed as the team’s director of scouting.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer has been surprised by New England’s lack of investment in Wolf, especially since the organization didn’t stage a formal GM search after Belichick’s exit.

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“It’s wild that the Patriots wouldn’t just go through a legit search process in January to either install Wolf, or someone else, as the team’s new GM,” Breer wrote in a column published Tuesday. “Those there believe he’s earned the job. So, ahead of a vitally important offseason for the franchise, it would have made sense for ownership to affirm that.”

Perhaps New England turned to Wolf, who has a wealth of front-office experience, in order to save time and get the ball rolling on draft prep. The Patriots now might view the draft as an evaluation for the 42-year-old, as there reportedly isn’t a guarantee he will move forward as de facto GM later in the offseason and into the preseason.

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But as Breer mentioned, it would behoove New England to create a greater sense of stability as it works on a rebuild and ushers in a new era of the franchise.

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