Bill Belichick: Patriots have had ‘normal’ trade discussions approaching deadline


Tuesday afternoon will bring the NFL’s 2021 trade deadline.

As such, the aftermath of Week 8 action includes teams working the phones and seeing what the market may offer.

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Speculation has been that it could be a relatively quiet trade deadline across the league. Locally, a popular theory is circulating that the Patriots’ impressive road win over the Chargers on Sunday in Los Angeles could push New England to be in the “buyer” category now that it’s pulled to 4-4 on the season in a wide open AFC.

Bill Belichick, who’s been as active as anyone at the trade deadline over the years as both a buyer and a seller, was asked during a Monday morning Zoom call for his thoughts on the approaching deal-making opportunity.

“I think this is the time of year that personnel departments always communicate with each other and we’ve certainly had probably the normal amount of communication with other teams,” Belichick said from Los Angeles where the Patriots remained Sunday night prior to a Monday flight back to New England. “Whether they have interest in a player or want to exchange a player or maybe they have somebody that they are looking to, if the right opportunity was there, that they would trade that player. So, yeah, those conversations go on. We’ve had those where it’s, you talk for a week, 10 days, three or four days, whatever it is. And the situations imminent and never happens. Then we’ve had other situations like the…other situation where it’s 2 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon and something comes up and you end up doing it. So I don’t think it really means too much today. Again, it’s kind of normal to have some conversations.”

While the talks are common in the weeks leading up to the deadline, Belichick did note that action on the final weekend prior to the deadline can affect the trade market and how teams assess their situations.

“It’s also fairly normal, Monday after the game from yesterday and maybe Tuesday morning for teams to maybe have a little different point of view than they might have had on Friday or Saturday or Thursday when you talked to them before,” Belichick said. “Somebody got hurt or the guy that was available they need to keep him or something happened and they need to, feel like they want to go ahead and move on from the player. So if the price is right and that kind of thing. Same thing for us. We’re sitting here today and somebody could call that they lost somebody yesterday and say, ‘hey you have depth at this position would you trade so and so?’ Or not. We’ll just see what happens.”

For his part, Belichick seemingly is more focused on his week-to-week coaching responsibilities than anything that might come to fruition on the trade market, leaving those details to his personnel department until he needs to be brought into the loop.

“Honestly, I’m not too worried about that,” Belichick said of the pre-deadline chatter across the league. “I think [Patriots Director of Player Personnel] Dave Ziegler and his staff, they have most of the communications on that. They keep me informed if there is something that looks like it might be moving or moving slowly in a direction. But we wrapped up the Chargers game and I’ve already spent quite a bit of time on Carolina. That’s really where I’m going to focus my time now. If something comes up, it comes up. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Sorry, I don’t know much more than you do.”

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