So I knew that I shouldn’t post any thoughtful analysis of the Pats dealing their 6 time pro bowler and starting left guard. We were all so shocked by the deal that I wanted to think about it some more. Gather insight from the tons of other people online posting it, and decipher through all the BS (just because there’s always a ton of BS on the internet).
But I still haven’t gotten any closer to digesting the move than I was when I first heard that Logan Mankins was traded to the Bucs for a 4th rounder and TE Tim Wright. My gut reaction was, “This scares the crap out of me. Good thing the Pats’ coach is Bill Belichick or I’d hate this move. I’ll trust Bill.” Now, my reaction is the exact same — verbatim. Still worries me a ton that the Patriots may have the best team that they’ve had since either 2010 or 2008 (pre Brady injury of course), and they just traded their starting left tackle. While I will not criticize Belichick as assuredly as Andrew Sharp of Grantland, and while I’d never suggest anything even suggesting for a second that BB is stupid in any way, I also worry if BB the GM has gotten in the way of BB the coach.
At some point, don’t you just have to go for it in certain years? Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that Belichick has made a consistent winner. In any sport but the NBA, the best way to run an organization is to just be in the hunt year after year and have it work out one postseason. (Baltimore Ravens, anyone?) But Tom Brady is 37. Darelle Revis might be part of another franchise by next March. And the AFC might never be weaker than it has been/is in the 2011-2o14 era.
And there’s one more thing that scares the shit out of me. Tom Brady didn’t like it. In New England, we’ve become so accustomed to having Belichick and Brady be on the same page with every move. The only true exceptions that I can think of are Lawyer Milloy and Deion Branch, both of which also happened in either August or September. Even when Randy Moss was traded, Brady was fine with losing the most talented receiver he’s ever played with. He was on board. Now, he’s not. And an unfortunate secret is that Brady didn’t do very well last year with his offense having some question marks. You could actually tell his confidence wasn’t at the typical Tom Brady level of confidence by the way that he would duck at random times early in the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Sure, it’s different when its the timing with your new receivers is messed up than your trust in your O Line, but I still worry about the lack of continuity, especially when 3 preseason games have already been played.
I think that this column up to this point proves that I would hate the trade if Bill Belichick wasn’t the one pulling the trigger. That fact is making me remember things like “Mankins hasn’t been as good in the past 2 years, especially last year,” and “They do need a tight end and some decent depth on the line.” And I understand that it’s against Bill Belichick’s religious principles to get rid of a guy after he’s already declined a ton. This is selling high, it’s just a question of whether or not it’s high enough for 2014.
So I’ll stand by the trade, but only because Bill Belichick is running the Patriots. But I’m not going to expect to have any full understanding of it after another 2 days of thinking.