The Thought Process in New England

Some coaches and franchises seem to live beyond reproach. Taking away nothing from the accomplishments of Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots' track record of success, I am a little stunned from some of their recent decisions.

In preparation for Wednesday's edition of the show, I was breaking down quarterbacks with one of the most knowledgeable gurus in the NFL, NFL Films' Greg Cosell. I asked Greg who the next Rich Gannon/Steve Young-type QB is in the league. In other words, who is a talent he thoroughly believes in who may not get the opportunity to shine until later in his career?

His quick, passionate answer? Ryan Mallett.

When Greg and I spoke just a few short days ago, Mallett was a back-up QB in New England, and now he's been traded for what amounts to a used pair of sneakers and a half-eaten pack of stale, tasteless cookies.

Logan Mankins is a perennial Pro Bowler who, before he was traded to Tampa Bay, was in charge of protecting Tom Brady, the face of the New England Patriots. I spoke with an NFL player who immediately reacted to the trade by saying, "Typical New England. No loyalty to anyone no matter how they play."

Yes, the Patriots have injury concerns at tight end and like to run two-tight end sets in their offense. But at what cost? New England fans will point to their track record as proof that this strategy works. But eventually, don't you have to wonder if their approach is really flawless? You trade someone responsible for protecting your star quarterback, AND you trade a young back-up that could essentially be the Aaron Rogers to your Brett Favre?

None of this makes long term sense to me, especially given the low cost of Mallett, the success of Mankins on the field and the fact that the Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl in a decade.

Maybe I'm the crazy one, given that I feel like we say this type of stuff every few years and the Patriots seem to embrace this as a consistent part of their way of doing business. But from these eyes, I can't seem to make any sense of their last two moves.

Call our hotline at 615-800-7058 and tell me what you think.

- JF