Over the course of this year’s NFL Draft, there were plenty of notable trades.
Teams around the league got in on the action, but it seems there was only one team that made a trade specifically to screw over one of their rivals.
Around the midway point of round 1, it was announced that the New England Patriots would be trading the 14th pick in the draft to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for the draft’s 17th pick and a 4th rounder.
The Steelers used that pick to select offensive tackle Broderick Jones.
It just so happened that the team picking 15th overall was the New York Jets, who were expected to try to improve their offensive line with their 1st-round pick.
They ended up taking defensive end Will McDonald IV instead.
According to the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora, the Patriots made the move because Bill Belichick wanted to screw the Jets over.
"Belichick did it just to f— the Jets," one NFL GM told @JasonLaCanfora of the Pats' first-round trade
"Bill will try to screw them over any chance he gets. He knew exactly what he was doing," another front-office official said. https://t.co/KAZt0FGDMH
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) May 2, 2023
This being the motivation for the move makes the fact that the New England Patriots made the move for just a 4th round pick make a lot more sense.
The move also worked out pretty well for the Patriots. They ended up landing cornerback Christian Gonzalez with the 17th pick after he surprisingly fell in the draft. At pick 14, Gonzalez still would have been the best player available.
With the New York Jets suddenly on the rise after showing major improvement last season and then going out and getting Aaron Rodgers, the Patriots will need to do whatever they can to try and stay ahead of their rivals from East Rutherford.
It looks like that includes trading back in the draft just to make sure they don’t get players they want.