Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports

Don't be surprised if Bill Belichick makes trade, just not within AFC East

Ryan Hannable
August 22, 2018 - 3:24 pm

Over the past few years, the Patriots have swung a few trades right as the regular season nears to add a few players to the team that other teams are willing to part ways with. 

Just last year the Patriots acquired Phillip Dorsett, Johnson Bademosi, Cassius Marsh and Marquis Flowers at the tail end of the preseason. Listening to Bill Belichick this week, don't be surprised if it happens again.

On Monday, he acknowledged he's talking to other teams.

“There’s about 20 things going on this time of year,” Belichick said to reporters. “That’s the way it always is. Between our team, preseason game, regular season game, another preseason game next week, evaluating players, making roster decisions, talking with other teams in the league. That’s the way it is every preseason, every training camp. That’s the way it is now. That’s what we’ll be doing for the next week. It’s juggling that.”

And who might the trades be swung with?

Given Belichick's strong relationships with teams across the league, it could really be anyone -- just likely not any of the top AFC teams and within the AFC East.

"There’s no question it’s always easier to talk to a team you’re not in direct competition with, either that’s not on your schedule, certainly not in your division," Belichick told reporters Wednesday. "But, if they’re not on your schedule or if they’re not in your conference, that makes it a lot easier. That doesn’t exclude other teams that maybe you’re in more direct competition with. Again, trades are theoretically maneuvers that will help both teams. When two teams make a trade, both teams think that they’re improving. That’s why they make it, right? So, if you can find a trade partner and you’re helping your team, then that’s usually a good thing. But, certainly it’s a lot more common and easier to deal with teams that you’re not in direct competition with. I don’t think you see a lot of trades with teams within division trading players back and forth.

"Draft picks is a little bit different, but probably less of that, too. And then AFC to NFC, that’s usually a pretty easy trade from that standpoint. A lot of times those relationships, again, can be developed because you’re not in direct competition with that team. But, that doesn’t exclude – I mean, we have, I think, good relationships with really all the teams in the league, but we don’t do a lot of transactions with the ones in the AFC East. So, that’s pretty normal. That’s the way it’s been with most every other team I’ve been with, too. There hasn’t been a lot of activity between teams that are in the same division."