Reimer: Come on, Patriots trading up for Justin Fields would be awesome


There are many reasons why Bill Belichick probably won’t trade up in the NFL Draft to select Justin Fields. For starters, it goes against his entire philosophy. Since Belichick took over as Patriots head coach, they’ve made 14 trades involving a move up or down in the first round, and never moved inside of the top 10. Infamously, Belichick likes to trade down. Mortgaging multiple first-round picks for Fields would be the antithesis of that.

But can’t a girl dream?

The Patriots appear interested in Fields, given they sent a contingent to watch his second pro day Wednesday. Notably, Belichick didn’t make the trip to Ohio State. Josh McDaniels was the headliner.

That detail could mean Fields is not pegged for Foxboro, considering Belichick attended Mac Jones’ second pro day at Alabama. As we know, Belichick is tight with Nick Saban. Perhaps he needs a personal endorsement before mortgaging his draft board for Tom Brady’s heir apparent.

Or, maybe Belichick trusts McDaniels, and is relying on him to help make the call. Remember those reports about how Belichick promised McDaniels he would “open up his world” to him?

Well, Belichick did turn 69 years old this week. There’s a possibility McDaniels could be coaching the next franchise quarterback for a lot longer than him.

It would be costly for the Patriots to move up for Fields, especially if they have to land at No. 4 overall. The Eagles traded two first-rounders, a second-round pick, third-round pick and fourth-round selection to select Carson Wentz at No. 2 overall in 2016. The Falcons could ask for a similar package at No. 4, minus the third or fourth-rounder.

Even if the Patriots only move up five spots to No. 10 for Fields, as Mel Kiper recently surmised, they could be forced to surrender two first-round choices. In a textbook sense, that’s the opposite of “value.”

But in reality, there’s nothing more valuable in pro sports than a franchise quarterback on his rookie deal. Look no further than Russell Wilson’s run with the Seahawks, which began with two straight Super Bowl appearances, and one win. The Chiefs were able to build a super team around Patrick Mahomes, and the Bills are enjoying that luxury right now with Josh Allen.

If Fields is the real deal, then the Patriots would enjoy flexibility to spend elsewhere, allowing them to make up for the lost draft capital.

On Jan. 2, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Fields would be drafted No. 2 overall. He was coming off an incredible playoff game against Clemson, completing 22-of-28 passes and throwing for 385 yards, six touchdowns with one interception. He was also fighting through a nasty hip injury, which he suffered after a brutal hit.

So much for questions about his work ethic, right Dan Orlovsky?

I am far from a college football aficionado (I blame BU for dropping the sport in 1997, depriving me of the chance to bond with AOC at a tailgate), but I have seen a fair amount of football in my life. Fields looked like an absolute star in the College Football Semifinal. But since then, his stock has mysteriously fallen, thanks to rumors and innuendo.

With every desirable quarterback already signed, the Patriots are faced with the brutal possibility of starting Cam Newton again, unless they move up and take Fields or Jones. Over the last three years, 11 of the 12 quarterbacks taken in the first round have started at least seven games in their rookie season. Jordan Love, who’s sitting behind Aaron Rodgers, is the only exception.

With that in mind, it’s likely Fields would be ready to start Week 1, or shortly thereafter — hopefully giving him plenty of time to ramp up for the big matchup against Brady.

Tom Brady vs. Justin Fields at Gillette Stadium. Isn’t that much more fun to dream about than a 2022 third-round pick?

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