Draft approach & the Seymour deal

March, 20, 2011
3/20/11
1:15
PM ET
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, who contributes a "Sunday Blitz" to the National Football Post website each week, focuses on the Patriots' approach in the draft.

"The Patriots are set up perfectly for the April draft," writes Pompei. "Set up, that is, to trade away draft picks. It’s what Bill Belichick does with regularity. And he trades picks to his advantage better than anyone in the league."

One factor to keep in mind this year is potential restrictions on trades. If there is no new collective bargaining agreement, veteran players can't be part of trades, and it's possible that future draft picks won't be allowed to be included either.

In taking a look back at Belichick's draft-day trades, 25 have been trades down the board and/or those that give the team a selection in a future draft, and 15 draft-day trades have been a move up.

In his piece, Pompei details some of the Patriots' deals that fall into the first category. One of them is the Richard Seymour trade in 2009.

"In September of 2009, Belichick acquired what would become the 17th pick of this draft by shipping Richard Seymour to the Raiders. A lot of teams wouldn’t have made that deal because they couldn’t take the hit that came with parting with a player who had been to five Pro Bowls for them. And the Patriots did take a hit, both internally and externally," Pompei writes. "But in retrospect, the move was brilliant on a number of levels."

The Seymour deal was scrutinized when it was made in September of 2009. Pompei's piece opens a window to revisit once again.

Knowing what we know now, would you have made the trade? Or is it still too early to judge?

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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