The New England Patriots traded down with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. And the New York Jets may have been Bill Belichick’s motivation for making the move.
The Patriots acquired the 17th pick and the 120th pick in the draft from the Steelers. In exchange, Pittsburgh moved up to the 14th pick, allowing them to select Georgia offensive tackle Brodrick Jones.
This move worked out for the Patriots in the end. New England selected Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez with the 17th pick, and many considered Gonzalez to be the draft’s best cornerback. However, the move still has the NFL world talking, according to the Washington Post.
A new report from the Post suggests that Belichick took a lesser deal from the Steelers because he knew Jones was Pittsburgh’s target. “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,” an anonymous NFL general manager told the Washington Post.
“They should have had to give up a [third-round pick] and not a four to move up there,” the GM, who had discussions with the Patriots about a trade up, continued.
If this is true, it marks the second time in the draft the Jets had a player taken out from under them. New York also had their eye on Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs, according to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler. The Detroit Lions selected Gibbs with the 12th overall pick after a trade down with the Arizona Cardinals.
In any event, the Steelers got their offensive tackle while the Patriots added a potential superstar cornerback. And it seems as if there is still bad blood between the Jets and Bill Belichick.
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