Patriots coach Bill Belichick is a master of motivation. He may have found a new way to motivate his players.
Albert Breer of SI.com reported today that the Patriots will listen to trade offers for “almost anyone” on the roster.
First, almost any team would listen to offers for almost anyone on the roster, because only a small handful of players are truly untouchable when it comes to a trade. The Patriots currently have no such players who would be never on the market. So it’s not really necessary for any coach to make it known that few if any offers would be ignored.
Second, while the official trade deadline doesn’t arrive until Tuesday, the practical deadline has come and gone, as to any teams that hope to have their new players to fully participate in practice in advance of a Week Nine debut. Other than the Browns, Bengals, Rams, and Eagles, each of whom have byes in Week Nine, every other team presumably would have done a deal by now, if they were going to do one.
So maybe Belichick is letting the word of a willingness to listen to offers for “almost anyone” to ensure that he sends a message to everyone that what has happened this year is unacceptable. While some may welcome an opportunity to join a contender, most Patriots players have been indoctrinated into the Patriot Way, and they’d potentially respond to the message that the coach is willing to dump any, some, or all of them by stepping it up.
Coincidentally or not, Breer’s article opens with the extended tale of how a 2019 deadline deal for receiver Mohamed Sanu, shipped from the lowly Falcons to the contending Patriots, completely derailed his career. The morale of the story is that getting traded may not be a good thing, and the Patriots quite possibly are using the threat of a trade between Sunday and Tuesday as a way to get the absolute maximum from their current players given that a critical game is coming up on Sunday in Buffalo.