Are Trade Winds Blowing Again in New England?

New England has been one of the busiest teams in terms of making trades before, during and after the Draft. Despite the current labor situation preventing trades, will there be a change in 2011? Bill Belichick shares his thoughts on the matter.

Trade Winds Blowing?

There is a notion among some fans that, unless the NFL lockout miraculously ends by the draft and league matters return to some semblance of normalcy by the lottery, the result will be a distinct lack of trades on draft weekend. Recent history, though, suggests otherwise.

Randy Moss and Tom Brady hold NFL records for TD's and TD receptions in a season (2007).  (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
In the past five drafts, there have been 150 trades and only 27 deals, involving a total of 34 players, included veterans. The remainder were pick-for-pick(s) deals, and those are permitted in the draft, even under the current lockout guidelines. So there doesn't figure to be a dearth of wheeling and dealing April 28-30.

"I don't see a big dropoff," New England coach Bill Belichick, historically one of the league's most active dealers during the draft, told The Sports Xchange. "I think you'll still see some maneuvering, the way you always do."

Of course, Belichick orchestrated one of the more notable player trades of the past five years, landing wide receiver Randy Moss from Oakland in 2007 for just a fourth-round draft pick. But a lot of the other 26 deals involving players 2006-2010 were fairly forgettable trades. In fact, of the 34 players traded on draft weekend since 2006, more than one-third, 14, in fact, are out of the league entirely.

Last year, there were seven trades involving eight players, and only a couple veterans that changed clubs made a difference. Foremost among them were quarterback Jason Campbell (Washington to Oakland) and kickoff returner Leon Washington (New York Jets to Seattle). But none of the veteran trades could be termed blockbusters.

Even if the lockout is lifted, that figures to be the case this year. And if it isn't, well, it probably won't make a lot of difference. "Very rarely do you see player-for-pick trades during the draft days," Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman told the Twin Cities-area media this week. "So I think that it will be business as usual."

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