The Bill Belichick trade turns 20 on Monday

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When Tom Brady met Robert Kraft in 2000, the sixth-round rookie said to the billionaire owner of the Patriots, “I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.” That’s debatable, and the debate could be settled, starting this year.

Three months before using a sixth-round pick to get Brady, they used a first-round pick to get coach Bill Belichick, who had become via contractual ascension the coach of the Jets when Bill Parcells decided to step down. Belichick resigned, and Kraft wanted to hire Belichick. Kraft did.

Here’s some of the press conference from following the trade, which was made 20 years ago tomorrow.

As noted by Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, the Patriots included a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick in 2001, getting back from the Jets a 2001 fifth-round pick and a 2002 seventh-round selection. The fact that Belichick remains employed as the team’s head coach — the longest current tenure of any coach with the same team other than Sean Payton, who was hired by the Saints six years later — underscores the value of the transaction. Especially with the six Super Bowl wins and the nine Super Bowl appearances in 20 seasons.

But the 20th anniversary of Belichick’s arrival and the 20th anniversary of Brady’s arrival could be the two slices of Wonder bread on a something-on-a-shingle-without-the-shingle sandwich. Brady’s contract expires in March, and if he wants to leave he can. If he does, and for every year that he plays with another team, data points will emerge on the question of whether Brady or Belichick was the best decision the organization has ever made.

43 responses to “The Bill Belichick trade turns 20 on Monday

  1. As entitled and obnoxious as Pats fans are … it would have been way worse if it were the Jets.

  2. Truth be told, the separation, if it happens, will reflect more on Belichick than on Brady. Brady is at or nearing the end of his career, and it would be unfair to compare what he will do in the next few years to what he has done in the past. On the other hand, Belichick can be judged by the same or similar standard going forward. We will then see whether BB’s (rumored) decision to get rid of Brady in favor of a younger quarterback was the right one.

  3. “ Brady is at or nearing the end of his career, and it would be unfair to compare what he will do in the next few years to what he has done in the past. “

    Every QB in the nfl is judged on their full body of work. If he stinks it up the next few years, that will be part of his “legacy”, just like every other QB. Brady doesn’t get a pass. Sorry……

    Everything will be compared. And it’s all fair game.

  4. They are great together, but Belichick already proved he can win without Brady. Although the didn’t make the playoffs, in 2008 they went 11-5 with Matt Cassel. I’ll take 11-5 every year…

  5. As entitled and obnoxious as Pats fans are … it would have been way worse if it were the Jets.

    ====

    Almost any fan base that had the pleasure of watching the goats QB and HC Dominate for 20 years would be as you describe.

    Save for a few.

  6. The Pats will have another run in them with these two. Don’t put the cart before the horse just yet.

  7. There’s no answer to the ‘who was it’ question. It was all of them. Brady, Kraft, Belichick. Perfect storm at the right time for each of them. That’s why it probably never happens again.

  8. 1052thatswho says:
    January 26, 2020 at 9:53 am
    The Pats will have another run in them with these two. Don’t put the cart before the horse just yet.
    ————

    To get back to the SB, they’ll have to go through KC, and they will never get past KC.

  9. Belichick ‘s head coaching record in games without Brady is 51-65. He’ll be lucky to be .500 without Tom

  10. Any evaluation of a trade must include both sides, i.e., who did the New York Jets get with the #1 pick? I’m surprised this was not included, perhaps because it’s a bit complicated and that doesn’t include the swap of later round picks. But it appears that the Jets used that picked to move up four spots to 12 (from SF) and take Shaun Ellis. They also drafted John Abraham (13), Chad Pennington (18), and Anthony Becht (27) in the first round. And they did make the playoffs five times in the next 10 years, but all things being equal, a coach’s career will outlast a player’s career. Except in Cleveland. And Washington.

  11. didnthearwhat says:
    January 26, 2020 at 10:22 am
    Belichick ‘s head coaching record in games without Brady is 51-65. He’ll be lucky to be .500 without Tom

    ——————————–

    belichick was the last coachn to win a playoff game for the browns. wrap your head around that fact before you make ridiculous statements.

  12. Belichick would’ve had the same career even with Giovanni Carmazzi. It has a nice ring to and Brady would’ve rather been a 49er anyway.

    6 time Super Bowl Champ, Giovanni Carmazzi.

  13. Considering Belichick started his Patriots tenure 5-13 without Brady, I would say Brady was the better decision. Belichick probably would have been fired without Brady. To boil it down to one example, does anyone think the Patriots would have come back from 28-3 in the Super Bowl with Belichick and not Brady? Not a chance.

  14. Dennis Carson says:
    January 26, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Considering Belichick started his Patriots tenure 5-13 without Brady, I would say Brady was the better decision. Belichick probably would have been fired without Brady. To boil it down to one example, does anyone think the Patriots would have come back from 28-3 in the Super Bowl with Belichick and not Brady? Not a chance.

    0

    1
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    Brady threw a god awful pick 6 in SB 51. So he had to bail himself out of such awful play, which he did.

    Lastly, BB scouted and drafted Brady. And developed him. And started him because he knew he was the guy as he didn’t like Bledsoe and his contract moving forward.

    Brady owes his entire career to BB. Who knows if he would have been drafted at all or given a real shake anywhere else.

    You can’t change history, kid. Learn the facts. Brady’s hard work and determination is commendable, but just like in life, the opportunity needs to present itself to the person looking for it. Sometimes it’s not always available.

    BB created the Cap Era prototype QB. Period. He knew that arm strength and size or jaw dropping NCAA stats were overrated. Prior to 2000, those were the things scouts looked at for an NFL QB.

    Now, everyone looks for the next Brady. Accuracy, ball out, running the offense, knowinng where it’s going before the snap, high IQ, coachability, etc.

    The Brady Traits, unearthed by BB the greatest GM and Coach in sports history.

  15. franchisetagged says:
    January 26, 2020 at 9:42 am

    They are great together, but Belichick already proved he can win without Brady. Although the didn’t make the playoffs, in 2008 they went 11-5 with Matt Cassel. I’ll take 11-5 every year…

    ______________________________________

    Look at the 2008 schedule and get back to us. They lost to every team with a winning record they played except the Cards who rested starters. The previously 1-15 Dolphins won the division. BB has made the playoffs once in 7 seasons as HC without Brady. He made them 17 out of 18 years with him.

  16. And the irrelevant Jets have done nothing since! Good job, Mr.Kraft! Make a decision and stay out of the way!

  17. Belichick or Brady – who cares? They achieved 20 years of greatness together. Everything else is just people’s opinion / speculation.

  18. 11-5 when your starting QB goes down in the NFL is still an accomplishment. I don’t care whom yo play. Belichick did a great job with a down and out Browns team too. Despite revisionist historians, they were SBowl favs the yr Modell pulled the Rug out.

  19. TO say that Belichick wouldn’t have had success without Brady, or visa-versa, is silly.

    THose pointing out that the Pats didn’t win much, even with Belichick, until they got Brady, is short-sighted. This is a team sport and one player, no matter how important, is never the reason for long term success, but he’s still part of it.

    Belichick built a system in New England. Would he be as successful without Brady? Maybe. Maybe not.

    But to say neither Brady nor Belichick would be successful without the other is nonsense. There are 53 men on that team and their play matters a lot.

  20. Brady is the greatest football player of all time and it’s a wide margin. that said, the greatest coach and gm of all time is more valuable. they wouldn’t have 9 bowls without brady but they’d still have more than anyone else under free agency and a salary cap.

  21. “Saying it was outstanding wouldn’t do it justice. For a coach, it’s a Bible,” Belichick said. “That book reinforced most of what I thought as a coach. I was glad to see Bill write it and say the things he did because a lot of it was either what I was trying to do or what I believed in. Between the book, the clinics, talking to Bill and picking things up from the (San Francisco) 49ers organization, there was certainly a confirmation in my mind that this is the way to do it.”

    Bill Belichick on Finding the Winning Edge. Book written by Bill Walsh.

    Bill Belichick has perfected his system through the 20 year dominance with the Patriots, after his learning experience through Cleveland.

    The guy has coached in 12 Super Bowls. 2 with the Giants, 10 with the Patriots.(a lot of people forget the 1996 Super Bowl). When Tom Brady retires, the Patriots will be competitive and just fine. But history has shown having a HOF Coach and HOF QB makes everything click.

    Unitas/Shula
    Bradshaw/Knoll
    Montana/Walsh
    Aikman/Johnson
    Brady/Belichick

  22. 20 years of non-stop cheating. What better way to celebrate than to send a “documentary” cameraman to tape the Bengals sidelines. He was so innocent, he tried to destroy the evidence on the spot.

  23. Belichick, Brady, and Kraft should have Mo Lewis in their Christmas card lists for the rest of their lives.

  24. As others have alluded to, hypotheticals are useless. The greatest team results come from a combination of the best coaching, the best star players, the most complete overall teams, and the undeniable x-factor of chemistry. Even with the absolute best parts, the whole is still greater.

    Belichick and Brady are perfect for each other. It’s like Lennon & McCartney. Their results aren’t just from how good each is individually, but how perfectly they fit together in this system with the players they’ve had.

    Without that completeness and chemistry, you get lesser results. If you have some great players without the rest of it, you get Marino, or Fouts, or the Romo Cowboys. If you have great coaches without a singular star, you get Landry-without-Staubach results. Somewhere in the middle, you get one-time winners like the Saints, Colts, Seahawks, where the overall concept is almost but not quite good enough or maintained well enough.

    It’s lightning in a bottle when astounding individual talent is also so complementary.

  25. TimTebowGodOfFootballKarma says:
    January 26, 2020 at 4:36 pm
    20 years of non-stop cheating. What better way to celebrate than to send a “documentary” cameraman to tape the Bengals sidelines. He was so innocent, he tried to destroy the evidence on the spot.
    ————–
    Go away bandwagon child…

  26. It’s way more Belichick. He runs a QB friendly system with short passes and no deep outs or deep passes. The is why NE QBs have so much success and why Brady is overrated. He benefits from team success more than any QB in NFL history. He won 4 SBs by getting the team in FG range the entire season.

  27. who is to say? remember, bledsoe was injured in the first game back after 9/11….if the attacks don’t happen, maybe brady doesn’t get his shot…also, the jets beat the raiders at oakland week 17, that game was supposed to be played week 2. that jets victory pushed ne up to the 2 seed, making the divisional round game in new england & the tuck rule which gave birth to the dynasty. for as great as you can be, you also need a little luck & timing on your side as well.

  28. Is it the chocolate or the peanut butter that makes the candy so delicious? Who cares? As far as the Matt Casell argument: While we appreciate his effort, The patriots went from 16-0 to 11-5, which is a five game drop. 11-5 might be good for your team, but it was a failure in New England.

  29. Brady never said that to Kraft. He’s making it up to make boost his ego. And him nor Kraft can prove it. We all know what big liars they both are.
    ———————-

    But you believe anything nefarious about the Pats. Somebody has way too much Pats on the brain.

  30. thejetssuck2001 says:
    January 26, 2020 at 11:29 am

    belichick was the last coachn to win a playoff game for the browns. wrap your head around that fact before you make ridiculous statements.

    —————————————————–
    And yet the Browns were more successful the five years prior to BB (44-34-1) with multiple playoff wins, than they were in the five years with him (36-44).

  31. Brady you are a awesome quarterback and you have a wonderful bond with your team, I love to see you play and I am a true fan of the Patriots. You guys are one and a million and I pray that you return to play with the Patriots. But if you don’t I will still love you as I do Rob after he left, I wish that he would return as your right hand man with Edaman until you retire from the game you love.

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