"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." - Thomas Paine, "American Crisis"
Paine wrote these words as part of his "Common Sense" series in 1776, back when pamphlets were all the rage when it came to getting your thoughts heard. The Tik Tok videos of their day. George Washington liked this one and Paine's concept "that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph" so much that he had it read to his troops enduring a harsh winter in Valley Forge in order to inspire them.
So it is that the other Patriots are having a miserable time of it. With a 2-5 record that is their equivalent of trudging through knee deep snow to take a dump with their feet wrapped in bloody bandages because the Continental Congress didn't order enough boots. And now that the first truly bad half-season in 20 years is trying our souls, it's a fascinating social experiment. A chance to see how people react to adversity they're not used to.
And according to one Boston sports radio station and one of the nation's most insidery football insider, the choice might not be limited to shrinking form the service of the country or standing by it, but to trade General Washington to the British.
Source - Trade Belichick? It’s not as crazy as it might initially sound.
“I don’t think it’s a dumb idea,” said Football Morning In America’s Peter King, whose decades-long career writing about the NFL includes time in the 1980s covering Belichick as the defensive coordinator for Bill Parcells’ Giants teams. …
“But I also don’t think that you’re probably going to get the value that you want, that you would think you would get,” King continued. “Like, probably right now, you would think if you traded Bill Belichick you should get two 1s, you think that’s about right? Especially not really knowing how much longer Bill is going to coach, he’s getting up there in years and you don’t really know how much longer he’s going to coach, so are you going to trade two 1s for a guy who might only coach for four years? I think it’s an interesting thing. I don’t think it’s something you should dismiss out of hand.
"But the other question is, clearly, would Bill want that? I have absolutely no idea if he would want that or not. If you traded him to be the HC of the NYJ would Bill have any desire to do that at all? And, if you did that you’re trading the first pick in the draft and next year’s 1 for Bill Belichick? Maybe if you say we’ll trade you the Jamal Adams’ pick at the end of the round and something else, that would be interesting. I also think, and again I do not know this at all, but just my gut feeling, there’s a big difference for Belichick between the New York Giants and the New York Jets.”
Trade Belichick? On the surface it seems insane. But once you get over the immediate, dismissive reaction that it’s simply silly talk-radio fodder, the lowly reality of the current Patriots situation lures you into a second, more serious consideration.
Trading Belichick would actually be the most Belichickian thing for the Patriots to do right now. Move on from a guy with value a year too early rather than a year too late. Benefit from an asset’s value built on past performances rather than pay him moving forward despite questionable diminishing returns.
I'm going to need a minute here.
OK, I'm ready. I think. There's a mountain range of stupidity to dig through here but I'm going to try to soldier on anyway.
So this is where we are at now? This is what a four game losing streak is doing to people. A losing streak that literally every other NFL franchise has had in the last 18 years except one.
And what is the one constant in all that time, preventing stretches like this from happening? You might say "Tom Brady," but you'd be wrong. They went 11-5 without Brady in 2008 and 3-1 without him in 2016. No, the one person we've been able to count on throughout has been Bill Belichick. And now because the first half of Covid Year has gone sideways on him, we're supposed to forget about the 21-game winning streak, the 18-game winning streak, 10 straight playoff wins, nine conference titles, eight straight trips to the conference championship and these little decorative wall hangings.
So that we can get a couple of draft picks.
Riddle me this: Do you think the Jets would like to call erasies on that trade they made with Mr. Kraft back in 2000? Trading the architect of a Dynasty for the 16th overall pick? Do you think they'd do it again, even if the Patriots threw in another first rounder? Or five even?
But here we finally have to deal with a bad month - in the middle of a bizarre season in which the team got the Final Notice on some salary cap payments they'd been putting off, they led the league in Covid opt outs, their two most important players on both sides of the ball tested positive, they had to close their facilities for the better part of two weeks - and they're ready to dump the man who built the whole thing like he's one of DiCaprio's girlfriends who just turned 26.
Besides, how many of those five losses have they not been competitive in? Two? The Denver and San Francisco games? They lost on the goal line down by five at Seattle. And twice got into the red zone at Kansas City before Brian Hoyer brainfarts took points off the board. And last week at Buffalo a fumble cost them overtime if not the win. You can almost make a case that in spite of everything, they're a better road team than they were last year. You could get 10 picks in return for Belichick and it wouldn't come within a million light years of being worth it. Because the one person in the history of the human race you want to have in charge of building next year's roster and then coaching it is already on your payroll. And there's not some close second who'd be better just because he'd come with two draft picks. Hell, I'd pay two first rounders just to keep Belichick. In fact, Mr. Kraft has done exactly that. One for Spygate and one for Deflategate. And the wins have kept coming.
So to respond to Peter King, he's technically correct. It isn't a dumb idea. That would be an insult to dumb ideas. That last drink I had last night was a dumb idea. They don't have an adjective to describe how stupid this would be. Trading Bill Belichick for anything would be nothing less than Dynastic suicide.