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Bill Belichick Shows No Sentiment, Even With Core Players

Sep 6, 2009 – 1:15 PM
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Dave Goldberg

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Bill Belichick isn't a sentimental guy, as he showed when he traded Richard Seymour, the heart of his defensive line on three Super Bowl teams, to Oakland on Sunday.

Classic Belichick.

He has never allowed his affection for players to get in the way of the team and its future. Seymour was one of his favorites, but so was Mike Vrabel, who he let go to Kansas City.

"Any transaction we make is with the goal of what is best for our team and, as difficult as it is to part ways with a player of Richard's stature, many factors were taken into account when we considered this trade," Belichick said in a statement released by the Patriots. "As an organization, we feel the trade with Oakland brings sufficient value and is in the long-term interest of the club."

That's the kind of thinking that has kept the Patriots at the top of the NFL for so long.

Seymour was one of the league's best defensive linemen from 2002-05, maybe even the best. But he has only played 16 games in two of his eight seasons and he's been bothered by knee injuries for the past three -- he will be 30 in October and is clearly on the downside of his career.

So away he goes; he probably would have left anyway as a free agent after this season.

Oakland? It gets what is needs desperately -- a leader in a dysfunctional locker room.

The Patriots? They get a chance to plug in some young guys they like. And it's not as if they can't win without Seymour -- he missed the first six games in 2007, when they were blowing out everyone.

In return, they get that first-round pick. Given the way the Raiders are being run these days, it's sure to be a high one.
Filed under: Sports