I won’t pretend to understand why the Patriots made the decision to trade Jamie Collins.
Yesterday’s trade, which shocked and baffled fans and media is now in its second day of debate.
The rants are predictable. The anger and confusion palpable, on Twitter; profane.
Jamie Collins is a marvel to watch. He did things no one in a Patriots uniform has ever done before. His athleticism is as jaw-dropping as the news that the Patriots essentially dumped him to the 0-8 Cleveland Browns for nothing more than what they would be expected to get in compensation if they kept him and let him walk as a free agent after the season.
Since the move makes no sense on the surface – not to fans, not to media who cover the league, nor probably to other league executives – it goes without saying that there is something more here.
I don’t know. You don’t know. Mike Felger doesn’t know. Lou Merloni doesn’t know. Marc Bertrand sure as HELL doesn’t know.
Unlike them, I’m not going to speculate. What’s the point?
Instead, I’ll give you my reaction. I was at lunch when I got an alert on my phone. I saw the news. I was shocked.
My second reaction? I shook my head and smiled.
I smiled? Yeah. I smiled at the sheer audacity and for lack of a better term, balls, that Bill Belichick and the Patriots have. They truly do not care what anyone thinks about their moves.
You would think that after 16 years on the job, the man would begin to lack the ability to surprise. Apparently that’s not the case.
The standard answer – We did what we thought was best for the football team – is infuriating, yet completely accurate. I have no doubts that they have their reasons for thinking that shuffling off Jamie Collins was for the overall good of the team. Are those reasons valid?
We don’t know. Yet. But if there is anyone in professional sports who should be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this sort of thing, it is Bill Belichick.
He does this time after time, the reaction is always the same, and yet…the team chugs along.
Whether it is Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, Deion Branch, Richard Seymour, Wes Welker, Logan Mankins, Chandler Jones or Jamie Collins, the reaction from fans and talking head media is always hyperbolic, always irrational, always angry.
Then time passes, and while the moves still may not make sense, there has been little to no impact from the subtraction, people shrug and move on to the next drama.
One might think that after witnessing this occurrence time after time after time, one would begin to establish some sort of trust that the individual making these moves (or at least signing off on them) actually knows what they’re doing.
But instead, whenever this type of thing happens, the same, tired cliches and angry rants are spouted. HUBRIS! ARROGANCE! EGO! POND SCUM! THE GAME IS PASSING HIM BY!
Who knows, maybe THIS IS the move that finally sends the New England Patriots into the death spiral back to mediocrity. If it is, there will be no shortage of “experts” lining up to tell you they knew it all along.
Me? Shocking as this will be for some of you to read, I’ll trust that they know what they’re doing.