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Additional thought on 'future-pick' deals

Earlier today, the flip side of the "future-pick" deals that the Patriots often make during the draft was highlighted.

Mainly, if a team feels strongly enough about a player, it is willing to give up a future pick one round better than it is selecting the player. Timing is a big part of it, as the team gets the player and fills a need one year early.

But the Patriots, under Bill Belichick, obviously don't adopt that philosophy.

In the Belichick era in New England (2000-present), the team has made 17 draft-day trades in which it has received a pick in the next year's draft. There has been a total of zero draft-day trades in which the Patriots have given up a future pick.

Belichick likes the flexibility of having extra picks on draft day, so he can trade up and get a target, such as tight end Rob Gronkowski in the second round this year. Another benefit of flexibility, as noted by blog commenter "jimke985", was seen in how the Patriots parlayed the 2010 second-round pick it received from the Titans into the following:

2010 second-round pick Brandon Spikes (inside linebacker)

2010 fifth-round pick Zoltan Mesko (punter)

2011 second-round draft choice (from Carolina)