Who’s The problem: Bill Belichick Or Jamie Collins?

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, November 2nd, and the Patriots didn’t wait until Tuesday to make a big move. The Patriots traded linebacker Jamie Collins to the 0-8 Cleveland Browns for a third round draft pick. Collins is set to be a free agent this summer and reports say the Patriots and Jamie Collins were nowhere close to agreeing on a contract.

In my mind, this trade is absurd. There’s no true logical argument for it and many are left wondering why it happened. Typically if a team is out of playoff contention by the trade deadline, they will trade talent for draft picks in order to acquire young talent for the future. The Patriots sit atop of the AFC East and have the best record in the NFL. With the team nearly guaranteed to make the playoffs, trading an established talented player for a future draft pick is mind-boggling. Recall from two years ago when cornerback Darrelle Revis was a free agent and the Patriots passed on spending big money on him in order to re-sign other future free agents on defense. Chandler Jones, Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower were a core group of young stud defensive players on the Patriots roster last season. All of their contracts are up at the end of this season and the Patriots knew it would be difficult under the salary cap to re-sign all three. A realistic goal would have been to re-sign two of those three players, although which two could be up for debate. Jones was traded this past off-season for a fourth round draft pick and an offensive lineman that the Patriots cut early this year. The Patriots definitely lost on that trade, since the player they traded for is no longer with their team. Now with the Collins trade, it seems the Patriots won’t win this  trade either, as they lose one of the league’s best linebackers.

To recap the Patriots re-signing moves: They let go cornerback Darrelle Revis in order to save money for Chandler Jones, Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower. They then realized they weren’t going to be able to re-sign all three so they traded Jones. Then today they traded Collins, leaving only one player left out of the three they intended to re-sign just a season ago. The whole situation was awfully handled by Bill Belichick and the Patriots. These moves could truly come back to hurt the team, not just this season but in the future.

Although Collins’ play this season hasn’t been as productive as it had been throughout his career, trading him for a bad return isn’t the right move. Collins could have helped the Patriots win this season and if they ended up losing him after the Super Bowl,so be it. Belichick is great at having players use their strengths to help the team and hiding their weakness on the field. Collins is too much of a freak athlete and good football player to be traded based on performance. Belichick may have diminished Collins’ role on the defense because of his poor play so far this season and Collins may not have reacted well. If that’s the case and Collins was being a huge problem to the team, then that would make things different. Belichick isn’t one to give away talent. I’m not sure if it’s time to trust Belichick or truly question the moves he’s making with the team. If the Patriots defense continues to struggle this season, the blame may not fall on the players but on the coach.

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