It’s hard to argue with Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s longstanding philosophy of getting rid of good veteran players while they still have some trade value. After all, Belichick has won four Super Bowls in New England.
But former Patriots cornerback Ty Law says that the Patriots would have won more than four Super Bowls if Belichick weren’t so quick to get rid of good players.
Law said in a 2014 interview that ESPN aired today that Belichick is too quick to get rid of veteran team leaders, and as a result, the Patriots have lost some playoff games that they could have won with another good player or two.
“I think it has cost them championships. I think they let go of too many guys who can rally the troops and win Super Bowls,” Law said.
Law won three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots before Belichick cut him in a salary-cap move. The Patriots then went nine years without winning a Super Bowl. Would the Patriots have won another title if Law had stayed in New England for another few years? More recently, would the Patriots’ offensive line have been good enough to withstand the Broncos’ pass rush in this year’s AFC Championship Game if Belichick hadn’t traded away Logan Mankins a year earlier? Might the Patriots have five or six or seven Vince Lombardi Trophies if Belichick had held onto his best veteran players a little longer?
No one can say for sure, but Belichick’s track record is pretty good. If history is any guide, we’re likely to look back on this week’s Chandler Jones trade as an indication that Belichick is smart about knowing when to move on from a player.
But it’s possible that Law is right, and the 2016 Patriots will be one good pass rusher away from a Super Bowl — and Belichick just traded a good pass rusher away.