Belichick on difficulties in making NFL trades

Belichick on difficulties in making NFL trades
October 25, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Bill Belichick says lack of offseason practice time may be leading to more injuries.

(USA Today sports images)

FOXBORO -- The end of the NFL trade deadline is coming up fast; teams have until October 29 to make their moves.

Eyebrows shot up when the Browns swapped running back Trent Richardson for a first-round pick on October 6. It was a headline-grabber, but not the only swap this season. Miami brought 34-year old Bryant McKinnie in from Balitmore just four days ago.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked his opinion Friday on what appears to be an unusually high level of activity thus far.

"I think that the trades that you’ve seen are kind of financially driven. 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 I don’t see a big, dramatic difference."

Which is expected, Belichick said.

"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 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."

New England doesn't often deal at the deadline, but did win one by trading a fourth-round pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for cornerback Aqib Talib in 2012. Belichick pointed out how much more complicated it is integrating mid-season acquisitions into the system. And there's certainly no science to figuring out if the payoff will be worth what's surrendered.

"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?"

Perhaps that's why there was just one trade in 2009, when the Rams traded Will Witherspoon to the Eagles. Belichick was asked how the NFL's deadline compares to the MLB's. His answer? It really doesn't. Football isn't really a plug-and-play sport, Belichick noted.

"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."