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#pounditThursday, July 18, 2024

Mike Tomlin addresses whether Patriots tried to intentionally screw Jets

Mike Tomlin smiles during a game

Nov 21, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts before the Steelers play against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There are some who believe New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made a trade during the NFL Draft this year just to stick it to the New York Jets, and it sounds like there may be something to that theory.

The Patriots originally had the No. 14 overall pick in the draft. They moved back three spots to No. 17 via a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers. New England also acquired a fourth-round pick (No. 120 overall) in the deal.

The Steelers used the 14th overall pick on Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones. It was believed that the Jets, who had the 15th pick, wanted Jones to help bolster their offensive line in front of Aaron Rodgers. Many believed Jones was their top target after several other top offensive linemen had already come off the board.

One general manager told Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post that he believes the Patriots made the trade “just to f— the Jets.” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked on Thursday if he got that sense. He did not exactly shoot the idea down.

“I’ll put it this way, there wasn’t a lot of hesitation on New England’s end,” Tomlin said.

Belichick was the head coach of the Jets for exactly one day in 2000. He resigned to become the head coach in New England, and the rest is history. He has been open about his feelings toward the Jets on more than one occasion.

Does the idea of trading back a few spots just to shaft a rival seem farfetched? Yes. Would Belichick be the coach to do it if it was done? Almost certainly.

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