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Belichick, Kiper & Woodhead

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When the Patriots signed running back Danny Woodhead on Sept. 18, one could have viewed the transaction as a trickle-down effect of trading Laurence Maroney to the Broncos.

Trade one running back, sign another.

But that wasn’t exactly what the Patriots were thinking, Bill Belichick said Friday.

Belichick explained the team’s approach at the time, saying that Woodhead was at the top of their list regardless of position.

“Like Mel Kiper’s best player available,” Belichick said, smiling. “At the start of the season, I think that’s what each team has – you have your best-players-available list. Here are the top 5, 6, 7 guys that aren’t on an NFL roster that you would like to have – whether you create a spot for them, or when you have a spot or a need.

“Then there is another list of guys that are just the next player – our next tackle, our next center, our next quarterback, our next receiver, our next whatever.”

Woodhead was part of the “Mel Kiper” category.

“That’s just ‘Who are the best football players out there?’ Forget about our needs. Who are the best players out there right now?” Belichick explained.

With this in mind, Belichick said there are currently “3 or 4 guys that I’m surprised they’re not on NFL rosters. I think if we had an opportunity to put one of them on our roster, that’s something we’d have to think about.”

Belichick did not reveal the names of those players.