Here in Boston, being on the winning side of transactions is something we have become accustomed to (that is of course unless you are talking about the Red Sox.)
Whether it was trading for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, grabbing a kid from Michigan we call Tom Brady, taking a one-year flyer on the beaten up Darrelle Revis, or trading a 4th-round pick for Randy Moss, we have seen many trades, signings, and draft picks that have helped our teams and in several cases crippled others.
Yesterday Adam Schefter, one of the few ESPN employees Boston fans can still tolerate, referenced a trade the Patriots made back in 2009 that would impact New England in a big way for years to come.
In a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Patriots traded a 3rd-round pick to the Jaguars so Jacksonville could select cornerback Derek Cox.
In return, the Patriots received a future 2nd-round draft choice as well as a 7th-round pick. Nothing out of the ordinary really. One team sees a player they're high on still available, and a team in position to take him deals the pick for a pick down the road, usually a round higher than the one they surrendered. In most cases, that team also gets a late-round pick.
Several years removed, the deal couldn't be much more lopsided. With the two Jacksonville picks, the New England Patriots selected an "injury prone" tight end in Rob Gronkowski and "long shot NFL player" in quarterback Julian Edelman who was making the difficult switch to wide receiver.
Cox is currently a free agent, and his career looks to be coming to an end.
On the other hand, Gronkowski is hands down the best tight end in the NFL and one of the game's best all-around talents, and Edelman caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl 49 and is the favorite target of the best quarterback to ever play the game.
Both guys were major factors in the Patriots' 2014-2015 Super Bowl run, while Cox can't even get a practice squad spot.
Once again, Bill Belichick proves just how good he really is. The Hoodie turned a single 3rd-round pick into two elite players, guys who would help the Patriots win yet another Super Bowl.
I guess that's cheating too, huh?
By Jacob Young, @Jacob_BBS