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Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Belichick advised against Julio Jones trade

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

D. Orlando Ledbetter has a very interesting note in his blog. It turns out New England coach Bill Belichick advised Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff against trading up to get receiver Julio Jones in the April draft.

That revelation was made in the book “War Room’’ by Michael Holley. Dimitroff spent years working under Belichick in New England’s front office. When pondering the trade, Dimitroff called his mentor and was told the cost of trading up for Jones was too great.

The cost of moving from No. 27 to No. 6 was sending that No. 27 pick, along with second- and fourth-round choices this year and first and fourth-round picks in 2012 to Cleveland. Belichick told Dimitroff to sit still and take Jonathan Baldwin at No. 27. As it turned out Baldwin went to the Chiefs at No. 26.

It’s still way too early to judge that trade. Jones got off to a decent start. He missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, but returned to practice this week. In a couple of years, we’ll have a better idea if Dimitroff made the right move or not.

But it’s interesting that he didn’t follow Belichick’s advice. Maybe Dimitroff just had such a strong feeling about Jones that he felt he had to make the move and maybe he correctly assumed that Baldwin still wouldn’t be available.

Or maybe there was pressure from elsewhere to get Jones. Arthur Blank is known for being a pretty hands-on owner. Makes me wonder if Blank was the driving force behind the Jones trade.