Bill Belichick Is a One-Man Trade Machine and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts


Mar 23, 2011

Bill Belichick Is a One-Man Trade Machine and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts It's been an interesting week in the NFL, as the labor issues have been slightly quieted by the events at the owners meetings in New Orleans, and that has served as a breath of fresh air.

There isn't a trace of lockout talk in this week's Two-Minute Drill, so read on about Bill Belichick's entire history of trades, Danny Woodhead's time in the spotlight, a few notes on the new rules changes and a movie recommendation.

1. I don't put much stock into the report that suggests the Patriots are interested in dealing away the 28th pick in the draft. Belichick is interested in getting the most value out of his picks, and there's simply no way of knowing what type of value he'll get until the first 24-27 selections are made on draft day.

2. With that said, Belichick could project the bottom third of the first round to be heavy on second-round-caliber talent. But a few trades always shake up the draft, causing players to fall further than expected. Therefore, it would be shocking to see Belichick trade away the 28th pick before the actual draft.

3. Need more proof? Belichick has never traded away a first-round pick before the actual draft during his tenure with the Patriots.

4. Belichick has only traded away two second-round picks before the draft, and each worked out well. The Patriots yielded running back Corey Dillon in 2004 and wide receiver Wes Welker in 2007.

5. Belichick has made 74 trades since taking over the Patriots in 2000, according to the team's list of transactions in the media guide. These trades included conditional draft picks, which didn't always amount to anything.

6. Seventy-three of those trades involved at least one draft pick, from one team or the other. The only one that didn't was in 2006 when the Patriots traded wide receiver Bethel Johnson to the Saints for defensive tackle Jonathan Sullivan.

7. Forty-two of those trades (56.8 percent) occurred during the draft.

8. Belichick orchestrated 17 trades during the 2009 calendar year, which is the most during his tenure in New England. That was actually a surprisingly high number for him. He made 12 trades during the 2003 calendar year, but those were the only two years when he has made more than seven trades.

9. His low amount came in 2000 and 2004, when he made two trades each year.

10. Belichick didn't make a single trade during the 2004 draft, the only time that has ever happened during his Patriots tenure.

11. Belichick has made seven trades during each of the last two drafts. His previous high was six, which occurred during the 2001 and 2003 drafts.

12. Belichick made 10 non-draft weekend trades in 2009, his most during his Patriots tenure. He made zero non-draft weekend trades in 2001, 2008 and 2010.

13. I thought it was really interesting that Woodhead was the Patriots' representative for the selection process of the Madden 12 cover. The press release said candidates "were selected and seeded based on a variety of criteria including on-the-field performance during the 2010 NFL season, their visibility within their franchise and community, and their personal career journey."

14. One common question for this: Why not Tom Brady? Well, Patriots fans, how is this for a conspiracy theory? Maybe Electronic Arts didn't want a member of the Patriots to win the contest and get on the Madden cover.

15. I received an interesting amount of responses on Twitter about Woodhead's selection. First, the team's fan base seemed genuinely happy about it because he is such a popular member of the Patriots. But once that initial feeling seemed to set in, Patriots fans seemed more worried about him succumbing to the Madden curse. Therefore, I wonder if they'll vote for Woodhead or against the curse.

16. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the feeling that Patriots fans tune out Jets head coach Rex Ryan when he hits the podium. Yet, he made a statement Tuesday to the media in New Orleans that probably made a few Pats fans queasy. "They lost three games last year," Ryan said of the Patriots, "two to us and one to my brother."

17. The new kickoff rule definitely benefits Stephen Gostkowski, but I wonder how Belichick and special teams coordinator Scott O'Brien will choose to employ New England's powerful kicker. In normal weather conditions, would it be best for Gostkowski to try punching the thing straight through the end zone, or should he aim for a higher trajectory, forcing the returner to catch the ball around the goal line and attempt a return? That answer will eventually be up to the coverage team.

18. The NFL competition committee believes the kickoff rule will increase touchbacks by about 10 percent.

19. Some clarity on the new replay rule: All scoring plays will be reviewed by the replay official, who must confirm the score. If he cannot confirm the score, the referee will go to the replay. The referee cannot spot the ball — for a kickoff or PAT — until he receives confirmation of the score from the replay official. Also, coaches are not allowed to challenge a scoring play. It is entirely up to the officials.

20. I got a chance to watch The Tillman Story last weekend, and it was a phenomenal documentary that tells the true story of how Pat Tillman died in Afghanistan. I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for Tillman — and all of our troops, past and present, some of whom are friends and relatives — and he's got a chilling story. The movie is absolutely worth watching.

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