With the NFL trade deadline looming on Thursday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, in his weekly appearance on WEEI's Big Show, suggested that he expected very little movement of key players. He noted that the issue of adjusting from one team's system to an unfamiliar one represents an impediment to midseason deals.
"I think the system in football is a little bit different, where a shortstop is obviously a shortstop, pitcher is pretty much a pitcher, but in football, the system and everything plays a lot into that, into how effective a player would be in your system relative to playing in another system. We’ve seen that many, many times through free agency, how players change teams and they’re really not the same player when they go to a different team in a lot of cases," said Belichick. "That’s a big issue. How long does it take? I don’t know. It would depend on the player’s familiarity with your system, his experience and so forth. It’s definitely an issue. If you were to trade for a player, that’s one of the things you would have to ask."
Belichick suggested that a team might be more inclined to trade for a player whom it viewed as a fit down the road for a subsequent season, when the idea of a fit into a system would be less significant. Still, given the challenges of integrating players into a new playbook and the fact that few teams feature a true healthy surplus of players at a position, Belichick suggested that he anticipated little trade activity in the coming days.
"Overall, those trades are hard to make and they’re also hard to make because a lot of teams are probably in the same boat as we are. There are a lot of guys who are banged up, so you think, ‘Okay, if we get rid of this guy who’s healthy and who can play. . .,’ " he noted. "I wouldn’t expect to see a lot of trading movement, but if it worked for both teams, then it would be a good trade."