BOSTON (CBS) — While there are rumors swirling around the New England Patriots with Tuesday afternoon’s NFL trade deadline looming, Bill Belichick cautioned that deadline deals don’t happen all too often.
The Patriots are rumored to be interested in Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson, and are reportedly making calls on available running backs as well. But in his Monday morning conference call, Belichick said trades are much more likely to happen in the summer due to a number of factors.
“I think this is a lot different than at the end of preseason when you’re coming into the 53 cut time. You’re focused on your opening game, but you’re also focused on your roster and [so] is every other team. There’s a lot of player movement at that time, as there is, I’d say through the first few weeks of the season on every team,” he said. “Whether it’s practice squad or roster moves or trades or signings or however it turns out. It’s not really like that now.
“I think every team is probably dealing with some type of injury situation,” continued Belichick. “There are fewer guys and when you have fewer guys it’s harder to, I’d say, trade them. You’re less inclined to give away guys that you have at this time of year than maybe what you are at the beginning of the year when you can’t keep them all and that type of situation. If the opportunity is right and there are some conversation at this time of year about that, if the circumstances are such that a team does have depth or there’s another reason they think they can help their team by making a move then – I would just say those situations, those opportunities are a lot fewer than they were at the beginning of the year. It’s just a lot different than that.”
In typical Belichick fashion, the head coach said the focus right now is on Sunday’s opponent.
“I wouldn’t say it’s all that hectic right now. We’re focused on getting ready for Denver,” he said. “Nick Caserio and his staff on the personnel end of it, if something comes along and it’s something that we think would be worth considering, then we’d talk about it, but I wouldn’t say that there’s real heavy back and forth communication throughout the league on big trades. I’d be surprised if that took place on any team. It’s just not that common this time of year. Could it happen? Yeah, there could be a couple trades. But it’s a lot different than what it is at the end of training camp.”
The Patriots are not shy of making in-season trades, pulling off deals in each of the last two seasons. Last year they traded a fifth round pick for nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga from the Philadelphia Eagles, and in 2012 made a big splash with their acquisition of corner Aqib Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New England didn’t make any moves in 2011, but did acquired wide receiver Deion Branch in the middle of the 2010 season.
The Patriots already made one trade last week, sending a sixth round pick to the Tennessee Titans for linebacker Akeen Ayers, who made his New England debut in Sunday’s 51-23 win over the Chicago Bears. Belichick praised his new linebacker for a quick week of work to prepare for Sunday’s game.
“I think Akeem did a good job this week of coming in and getting acclimated to everything, new town, new team, new terminology,” Belichick said. “There wasn’t a whole lot of carryover from the system that he was in to the system that we run. I thought he did a real good job of making that transition, playing in the kicking game, playing on defense, and just getting the game plan, the scouting report, the whole transition. It was a lot in a few days, and I think he handled it well.”
While Bill said it’s not likely, we’ll see if the Patriots add another player or two to the mix by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.
MORE PATRIOTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON
[display-posts category=”patriots” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4?”]