Despite injuries, needs, Bill Belichick isn’t expecting much at the NFL trade deadline
|10.25.13 at 11:57 am ET|
FOXBORO — Thanks to injuries on both sides of the ball, the Patriots certainly have needs heading into Tuesday’s 4 p.m. NFL trade deadline.
But listening to Bill Belichick Friday, it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of movement in that direction. The Patriots have pulled the trigger in years past, both acquiring and trading away talent. In 2010, the team traded away Randy Moss to the Vikings for a 2011 third-round pick that was used to select Ryan Mallett.
Last year, with an obvious weakness in their secondary, Belichick contacted Tampa Bay about what it would take to acquire Aqib Talib, who was in the final year of his contract. On Nov. 1 last year, the price was a fourth-round pick and the Patriots had their cover corner.
“I can’t say that I’ve noticed any difference this year,” Belichick said. “I’d say there’s not a lot of it period, but it’s certainly way less, way, way less than what there is at the 53 cut, just to pick another period of time or maybe the week before, like at the 75 [roster] cut. There’s a lot more conversations there about the makeup of your team and who you need and who might be extra and those kind of things. You’re looking at a 16-week season at that point. Now you’re looking at a much shorter window.
“I’d say every team in the league is dealing with some type of personnel issues so where you have extra depth is probably less than what it was in September and your needs based on whatever players you’ve lost are probably greater than they were in September. Therefore, you need more, there’s less available, it’s a shorter season, you’re trading for a guy for just a short amount of time. How quickly can you get him ready, how productive will it be, was it really worth it? Is it worth it to the team who is trading away the player to get not very much for somebody versus just keeping him and playing with him even though you get something for him but it isn’t really worth it?”
This year, the Patriots are missing Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly and Jerod Mayo defensively and have been scrambling on offense with injuries to Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen. Wilfork and Mayo are done for the season and the Patriots have been filling in with rookies and free agents. Amendola and Vereen could be returning soon while Talib is getting closer to a return after his latest hip injury.
The question is, will Belichick and the Patriots look to make another trade or stay in-house? Belichick gave insight to his thinking and that of the organization when considering all the variables.
“You’d rather have him for those seven, eight games, whatever is left than some pick at the end of the draft that you might not think has a lot of value, especially if you’re worried about your depth at that position with the player that you’re moving,” Belichick explained. “Usually when you have that kind of depth, you see more of those trades I think in September when, A ‘ the value is higher and, B ‘ teams have more depth at that position so it’s easier for them to move the player because they have other guys at that point but two months later, they have less depth at that position and they’re less likely to move them. That’s just one man’s opinion; it’s not a survey of the league or anything. It’s hard to get a guy ready in a short amount of time. I don’t know much about baseball, but maybe a third baseman on this team, put him at third base on the other team and let him hit. How much is there involved? I’m sure there’s some but it’s not like playing left guard, having 20 different protections and two dozen running plays and a dozen different defenses you have to block every week. It’s a little more involved.”
There was some talk in late September and earlier this month that perhaps the trade activity had picked up from years past, highlighted by the Cleveland trade of Trent Richardson.
“I think that the trades that you’ve seen are kind of financially driven,” Belichick said. “I don’t know how much of it is personnel trading and how much of it is financial trading. However you want to look at it, for draft choices or for cap relief. But no, I don’t see a big, dramatic difference, no.”