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Patriots trade value reality

Posted Apr 26, 2013

New England's first-round trade with the Vikings wasn't quite the robbery that some have made it out to be.

Despite a perceived distaste for New England’s regularity of trading down in the draft over the years, the general reaction to Thursday night’s one-for-four move out of the first-round has been positive.

Clearly the deal instantly gave a boost of flexibility to a Bill Belichick team that had limited options on draft weekend thanks to just five selections. Going from five picks to eight for a guy like Belichick is a big deal. And turning the No. 29 pick in the first round into extra picks in the second and third rounds of a draft that’s supposedly deeper than it is top heavy on talent is a nice swap for a team that seems to love picking the middle of the action, especially in the second round.

But the deal with the Vikings wasn’t quite the highway robbery of Minnesota that some analysts have made it out to be, at least not if you place any credence in the long-followed trade value chart.

According to that chart, which came from Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys back in the day, New England’s No. 29 pick had a value of 640 points. The four picks that the Vikings sent to the Patriots in the trade – Nos. 52, 83, 102 and 229 – had a combined value of 649.5 points.

So mathematically the Patriots did get the better of the trade to the tune of 9.5 points, which is equivalent to the 206th pick in the draft, essentially a mid selection in the seventh round.

So while four picks look like a lot, and giving Belichick an extra pick each in the second and third round is a good deal, it’s not quite the one-sided agreement many first described it as.

Now, in a draft when a lot of teams reportedly wanted to trade down, Belichick accomplished that goal and did so at average market value. That wasn’t as true early in the first round. The Dolphins traded up to the No. 3 spot by sending, according to the trade value chart, 1,680 points to the Raiders for a pick that’s worth 2,200 points.

That’s a buyers’ market deal for Miami. New England got fair market value.

That’s a good deal and puts Belichick in good position for the second day of the draft to fill needs.

It’s just not a robbery.

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