- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday and Bill Belichick was asked a few questions about it this morning. His answers highlighted the reason why it’s unlikely the New England Patriots will be making a deal.
Asked if there have been more discussions with teams now, compared to other times during the year, Belichick said he hasn’t noticed a big difference.
“I’d say there’s not a lot of it, period. But it’s certainly way, way less than what there is at the 53-cut [in late August], to pick another period of time. Or maybe the week before, at the 75-cut, there is a lot more conversations there about the makeup of your team and what you need, and who might be extra, all those kinds of things. You’re looking at a 16-week season at that point,” he said.
“Now you’re looking at a much shorter window. I’d say every team in the league is dealing with some type of personnel issues, so where you have extra depth is probably less than what it was in September. And your needs, based on whatever players you’ve lost, are probably greater than they were in September. Therefore, you need more, there’s less available, it’s a shorter season, and you’re trading for a guy for just a short amount of time. How quickly can you get him ready? How productive will he be? Is it really worth it to the team to just trade away the player to get not very much for somebody versus just keeping him and playing with him?”
The Patriots have made two in-season trades since 2010, for receiver Deion Branch and cornerback Aqib Talib, but those were rare cases. It’s a reminder that football is much different than baseball, where there have traditionally been more deals.
“It’s so hard to get a guy ready in a short amount of time,” Belichick said. “I don’t know that much about baseball, but maybe you take a third baseman on this team and put him at third base on the other team, and let him hit. How much is there involved in that? I’m sure there is some. But it’s not like playing left guard and having 20 different protections and two dozen running plays, and a dozen different defenses you have to block on them every week. It’s a lot more involved.”
As for the seemingly higher-than-usual number of NFL trades already this year, Belichick said: “I don’t know how much of it is personnel trading or financial trading, however you want to look at it, for draft choices or cap relief. I don’t see a big dramatic difference.”