Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots' Trading Secrets

Andrew SimpsonCorrespondent IApril 2, 2008

There can be no doubt that Bill Belichick is one of the greatest NFL coaches of all time.

He may even be the greatest.

For the past seven to eight months, there has been a ridiculous amount of press given to the "Videogate" scandal and its potential ramifications.

However, if one looks at the trades of both players and draft picks that Belichick has orchestrated over the years, you have to admire the accumulation of talent in New England.

With three Super Bowls in four years and two very near misses, the Patriots have become one of the strongest franchises in league history. However, it is at this point that things start to get a little hazy.

Belichick and Scott Pioli have (rightly) been showered in accolades for the way in which they built this Patriots dynasty, but Belichick is now at a point where he transcends the sport.

In the same way Brady has become a celebrity independent of football, Belichick is now the biggest hero or villain in the greater sporting world.

Because of this phenomenon, every move that works out for the Patriots is attributed to Belichick. If Asante Samuel breaks his leg this year, Bill will probably be lauded for not resigning him.

The trades that were orchestrated last year that brought Randy Moss to New England, and also gained the number seven overall pick have received significant press over the past year.

When Randy Moss broke the touchdown reception record, Oakland was shredded in the press for releasing a hall of fame receiver for only a fourth round pick.

The 49ers also look like they were on the losing end of their trade with the Patriots, selecting Joe Staley with the 28th Pick, and giving the Patriots the seventh pick in this draft, where players like Vernon Gholston or Darren McFadden may be available.

The Miami Dolphins were also humiliated after trading with the Patriots, practically giving away Wes Welker only to see him become the league leader in receptions.

The consequence of these successful trades was to bring very talented players to New England without giving up very much in return.

However, this has unexpected ramifications. Teams may no longer want to trade with the Patriots, especially for such high profile players or draft picks.

If McFadden is still on the board by the seventh pick, I think it would be mutually beneficial for the Pats to trade for the Cowboys' two later first round picks. However, even the Cowboys are going to think very carefully about whether they want to trade with the Patriots.

For a team that has thrived and grown based on savvy trades, the very public nature of their lopsided trades is a potential stumbling block.

When coupled with their record-breaking season in 2007, it would not be surprising to see fewer and fewer teams willing to trade with the Patriots. Many will fear being taken advantage of.

Time will tell if this has any impact on the team and its success, but don't be surprised if the Pats find it harder to find trades that they like with other teams, at least for a while.