Bill Belichick may be a man of few words who rarely smiles, but that doesn’t mean he won’t try and put in work to screw another team.
On the opening night of the 2023 NFL draft, one first-round maneuver may have flown under the radar to millions of fans watching, but it was actually a big one that was done for a reason.
The Patriots traded back three spots with the Steelers, letting them draft the last of the four top offensive tackle prospects still sitting on the board ahead of the Jets. Pittsburgh moved up from pick No. 17 to pick No. 14, leaping over New York at pick No. 15 to grab Georgia’s Broderick Jones.
According to two front-office NFL executives who spoke to the Washington Post under the condition of anonymity, the transaction was made purely to stop their loathed AFC East division foe from gaining a top-tier player that the team really needed.
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One general manager pointed out that the lack of compensation the Patriots received: “They should have had to give up a [third-round pick] and not a four to move up there.”
“Belichick did it just to f–k the Jets. He sold low because he knew the Steelers were going to take the kid the Jets wanted to take,” added the general manager.
After trading for Aaron Rodgers in the days prior to the draft, it was widely known that the Jets wanted some talent on the offensive line to help protect their 39-year-old quarterback.
“Bill will try to screw them [the Jets] over any chance he gets,” said another NFL personnel executive to the Washington Post. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”
With all the top offensive tackle prospects off the board, the Jets decided to take Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald IV.
The Jets did invest in the offensive line until they grabbed Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann in the second round as well as Pittsburgh offensive tackle Carter Warren in the fourth round.
Aaron Rodgers is now fully ingrained with the rivalry between the Jets and Patriots.
Here’s how NFL fans reacted to Bill Belichick’s saavy move to screw his division rival: