The Bledsoe Gamble

Bill Belichick is a gambler on a hot streak. From benching his best athlete (Terry Glenn) to sitting the anointed star (Drew Bledsoe), the coach last season threw dice early and often and at the end he cashed in all his winnings for a big shiny trophy.


THE BLEDSOE GAMBLE
by Patriots Insider -- Brian Tarcy

Bill Belichick is a gambler on a hot streak. From benching his best athlete (Terry Glenn) to sitting the anointed star (Drew Bledsoe), the coach last season threw dice early and often and at the end he cashed in all his winnings for a big shiny trophy.

And this off season, he traveled to the football casino again - trading both of his disgruntled stars. The Glenn trade to Green Bay was a no-brainer and although Glenn could very well have his best year since his first year in the league, he had to go.

In what has come to be known as the best coaching job in the history of the NFL, Belichick's performance last season was highlighted by his handling of the oft-ticklish Glenn situation. A case can be made that by his absence, Terry Glenn was last season's most valuable player.

Belichick's handling of Glenn was simply masterful - a case study that should probably be taught in business schools. Even at the end of the totally disintegrated relationship, there was enough respect on both sides to move on without rancor. And so trading away Glenn, though a gamble from a talent standpoint, is really a win for the team.

The Drew Bledsoe trade to Buffalo is a bit more questionable. Sure, Bledsoe had to go. That was clear as soon as Bledsoe regained his health last season and was told to keep holding that clipboard.

But trading him inside the division?

Though he has taken a beating in recent years, Drew Bledsoe is not old. Sure, he may be on the downside of his career. But what if he's not? That's the gamble, isn't it?

What if the reason he failed the past few years in New England was because the team was no good and not built to compliment his strengths?

What if Drew Bledsoe of 2002, fourth among active quarterbacks with 29,657 yards and 166 touchdowns, is reborn as a Buffalo Bill? Well, if that happens, it hurts at least three ways.

First, if Bledsoe is good that means that the Bills are good and that means that the two easy victories Patriots fans are counting on may not come at all. And that means the Bills are competition in the division, which is not good.

Second, if Bledsoe is good that means the Bills are good and that means that the number one draft pick the Patriots acquired for Bledsoe falls from the top ten to the bottom ten. And that is not good.

Finally, if Bledsoe is good there will be a bit of bittersweet taste to it for Patriots' fans. After all, didn't you expect to root for him for his entire career?

 

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