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From the Hart: Trade winds blow early, often

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Considering pick-for-pick deals in the same draft, there are a total of 28 trades listed.

Maybe surprisingly to some, that breaks down to 15 trades moving up and 13 deals moving down.

That would seem to fly in the face of the contention from many New England fans that Belichick deals down too often in search of value. But a closer look shows that the picks that matter most – first-round selections – have seen Belichick deal down more often than up. And that trend is really swayed of late.

Overall Belichick has traded down five times in the first round, including twice in the same round in both 2009 and 2010. Each of the trades down has come in the last four drafts.

Belichick hasn't traded up in the first round since 2003 when he moved up one position to take Ty Warren at No. 13 overall. That came just a year after Belichick moved up 11 spots in the 2002 draft to take tight end Daniel Graham with the No. 21 pick.

So while it's true that Belichick has traded up more often than he's traded down when you consider all drafts and all rounds, a look at first-round trades shows that he's far more likely to move down than up. And that is even more true in recent years as it's been eight drafts since Belichick has moved up in the first round.

Belichick has also dealt away his first-round selection for a future pick three different times (2011, 2007, 2003). So a total of eight times Belichick has either traded down or out with his first-round pick. And he's traded down or out with a first-round pick in each of the last five drafts.

So fans that feel like he's always trading down or out in the first round are correct when you look at the last five years. Maybe that trend will change in 2012? Also worth noting that Belichick didn't make a single trade during the 2004 draft, the only of his previous 12 drafts in New England in which he didn't make a move.

What do you think Belichick might do in terms of trades of first-round picks in this year's draft? Trade up? Trade down? Trade out? Let us know with a comment below!

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