Take a walk with me for a second. Belichick trades a second-round pick in 2004 for Corey Dillon, who helps the Patriots win a Super Bowl. He trades Richard Seymour (who was due a raise) in 2009 in exchange for a first-round pick, which is used on a potential starting offensive linemen in Nate Solder. He trades a fourth-round pick in 2007 for Randy Moss, who helps the Patriots reach the Super Bowl that same year. Then Belichick trades an older, more disgruntled Moss to the Vikings last season for a third-round pick. Also last year, he sends a fourth-round selection to the Seahawks in exchange for Deion Branch, who produces more yards in 11 games than he did in any of the three previous seasons with Seattle.
This week, in his latest masterpiece, Belichick sent a measly fifth -ound pick to the Redskins in exchange for Albert Haynesworth, who is one of the most effective interior defensive linemen in the game when he’s motivated.
Actually, “masterpiece” might be overdoing it. After all, the Redskins would have taken a free one-month subscription to Netflix in exchange for Haynesworth, so the fact that they got a fifth-round pick was thrilling for them. Plus, in the end, all Belichick and the Patriots are doing is stockpiling talent. Isn’t that what every team does? Isn’t that what teams are supposed to do when the goal is to win?
But the Patriots aren’t like any other team and it’s because of Belichick, a man that players like Dillon, Moss and now Haynesworth will fall into line for in exchange for a chance to win. Most teams have to weigh the risk versus the reward before acquiring a potential distraction like Moss or Haynesworth. But because it’s Belichick and the Patriots, these players turn it up a notch on the field and are quiet off it.
There’s a possibility that Belichick will only use Haynesworth (who belongs in a 4-3) in nickel situations, or as a pass-rusher from one of the end positions. After all, Vince Wilfork is the rock of New England’s defensive line. But there’s a greater possibility that Haynesworth will become a key contributor for the Pats, who often use multiple defensive fronts under Belichick.
Randy Moss flat out quit on the Raiders before he was traded to the Patriots. Oakland couldn’t even get the guy to finish his routes, but he lands in New England and all of a sudden he’s an MVP candidate. Maybe Haynesworth will never receive the opportunity to do what Moss did in New England, but tell me you’re not thinking what I am: that Belichick is about to reap the rewards of yet another deal.