Bill Belichick’s penchant for trading draft picks is usually justified by his accumulation of more picks, which he then squanders on an abundance of offensive linemen, safeties and the occasional former All-American lacrosse player.
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Despite an appalling record in the NFLof the annual job fair since 2016, Belichick was more concerned with thwarting the New York Jets last Thursday. Instead of taking cornerback Christian Gonzalez at 14, the Patriots opted to trade picks with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who owned the 17th overall pick. However, unnamed NFL executives told the Washington Post that Belichick knew the Jets were interested in Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones.
The Jets were looking for a lineman to protect Aaron Rodgers
This detail is not really a surprise. Protect the decrepit Aaron Rodger’s the blindside is of the utmost importance this season and the Jets have sniffed out offensive tackles repeatedly over the past decade. However, NFL insider Jason La Canfora reports that Belichick took a lesser comeback from the Steelers to prevent Gang Green from landing their guy.
“They should have given up a [third-round pick] and not a four to get up there,” an NFL general manager said. “Belichick did it just to f–k the Jets. He sold low because he knew the Steelers were going to take the kid the Jets wanted to take.
The Jets took it on the chin and picked Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald with their pick instead of going low and snatching cornerback Christian Gonzalez, who was on the line. originally supposed to have a top-10 rating, from the Patriots’ grip. The need wasn’t necessarily there for New York, whose top corners Sauce Gardner, DJ Reed and Michael Carter III had stellar seasons, but the Patriots spent draft day carrying out one-sided assaults on the Jets. New York must eventually react.
Belichick has tormented New York’s Gang Green for 20 years since resigning as Jets coach after one day. Apart from Eric Mangini telling the NFL about Belichick’s practice of allowing his staff to film the opposing team’s defensive signals from an on-field location 15 years ago, the Jets were the punching bag for the Patriots.
For years, Belichick held the upper hand, but this may be the first time the Jets and the rest of the AFC division have looked down on the Patriots. New York is on a roll and by the end of the season the tables may have turned.
Follow DJ Dunson on Twitter: @cerebralsportex