We should clarify something: We’re dealing strictly in the hypothetical here.
Bill Belichick definitively has stated he plans to return as the New England Patriots’ head coach next season. The chances of him leaving to coach elsewhere are slim to none.
But let’s pretend for a moment that the “power struggle” detailed in ESPN’s controversial report drives Belichick, who’s still under contract with New England, to seek a trade elsewhere. And let’s pretend owner Robert Kraft grants Belichick’s wishes and calls up the New York Giants, Belichick’s former employer and the likely top candidate for his services should he ever coach another team.
What would the Giants have to give up to land arguably the greatest head coach of all time?
A “long-time NFL executive” relayed a price for Belichick to the New York Daily News’ Gary Myers: “Three No. 1 (first-round) picks.”
“You think Robert Kraft became a millionaire and runs the best organization in the league and he’s just going to lay down and say, ‘We’re going to let you have him?’ ” the executive told Myers.
Three first-round draft picks is an absurdly high bounty to give up — even for a coach like Belichick — especially when you consider New York owns the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
That said, it’s not too much more than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent the Oakland Raiders in a 2002 blockbuster trade for head coach Jon Gruden: two first-round picks, two-second round picks and $8 million in cash. The Patriots also have dealt a head coach before, receiving a first-rounder, second-rounder, third-rounder and fourth-rounder from the New York Jets in exchange for Bill Parcells in 1997.
Myers suggests a similar offer from the Giants for Belichick: Their 2018 second-round pick (No. 34 overall), 2019 first-round pick and 2020 second- and fourth-round picks.
Again, this is all basically a thought experiment, as the expectation is Belichick will be on New England’s sideline next season. But what he’d fetch in a potential trade offers a glimpse into just how much he’s valued as the best coach in the league.
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