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Patriots adding picks for 2010

4/26/2009

Posted by ESPN's Wendi Nix
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It might not be sexy, but it has been proven smart. Since Bill Belichick arrived in New England in 2000, the Patriots have led the league in trading for future draft choices, and it was a trend that continued today.

It is a practice that has served this team well, and given the depth on New England's roster, it can be considered an excellent use of resources on Day 2 of this draft.

The team began Sunday morning much the way it spent Day 1 -- trading the first of its third-round draft choices to the Jaguars in exchange for Jacksonville's second-round pick in 2010.

By starting with 11 overall picks and enormous flexibility, the options were endless for New England. The only thing virtually guaranteed was that the team would walk away with an additional pick or picks for 2010.

Despite rampant rumors, the Patriots never realistically explored a move up in this draft. The team determined very early on that there was no player it valued enough to pay early first-round money, and it was also confident in what Belichick termed the "considerable depth" of this year's rookie free-agent pool.

Perhaps most importantly, it speaks to the team's commitment to sustaining long-term success in the salary cap era by emphasizing a players value -- a marriage of talent AND cost of acquisition.

Wendi Nix is ESPN's bureau reporter based in Boston.