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Bill Belichick’s Top 5 worst tradesRay Rauth

Bill Belichick’s Top 5 worst trades

Bill Belichick has pulled off some great trades over his time with the New England Patriots, moves like Randy Moss and Wes Welker come to mind very quickly. But, it’s also safe to say he’s had some bad ones over the years, and with Patriots expected to be active as we creep closer to the trade deadline, and I thought it would be fun to count down the top five worst trades in the Belichick era.

#5 Jimmy Garoppolo

After the decision was made that the Patriots were going to go forward with Tom Brady as the starting quarterback, Belichick had no choice but to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo. Trading away Jimmy G wasn’t the mistake, it was only asking for a second round draft pick. If you believe the 49ers they were shocked when Belichick asked for a second and they didn’t hesitate to make the deal. A few months later they made Garoppolo the highest paid quarterback in the NFL, and it was clear as day that Belichick could have asked for a lot more.

#4 Duane Starks

Belichick gave up a third round draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals for Duane Starks, and it didn’t work from the beginning. Starks only played seven games for the Patriots before going down with a shoulder injury. Before his season finished early Starks was on pace to record a career high 64 tackles, but don’t get excited, he had so many tackles because he was constantly tackling the ball catcher. He had only defended five passes on the season and that put him on pace to defend 22.4 passes for the season. Starks wasn’t terrible, but he came nowhere close to being worth a third round pick.

#3 Albert Haynesworth

Trading for Haynesworth would have been a mistake even if Belichick was just thinking about it, the fact that he pulled the trigger made things that much worse. Playing only six games and starting zero for the Patriots, the troubled Haynesworth left New England with six tackles, and his reputation of being a locker room issue well intact. After being very unproductive, Haynesworth got into with the Patriots coaching staff, and Belichick sent him on his way. Haynesworth finished his season playing seven games with Tampa Bay and recording 20 tackles and zero sacks.

#2 Chad Jackson

If you are somebody who believes Bill Belichick is not a good general manager, Chad Jackson is usually your case study. Jackson gets the distinct honor of not only being Belichick’s second worst trade, but he’s also one of the worst draft picks of Belichick’s tenure. Belichick thought that Jackson was the guy, and he traded a second and third round pick to move up to the 36th pick in the draft, and selected Jackson. Jackson played 14 games in two seasons with New England, recording 153 yards of passing and three touchdowns. Jackson played for the Denver Broncos is 2008, made one catch, and his football career was over.  

#1 Mahmed Sanu

This could be recency bias, but I was listening to the One Giant Podcast this morning on SportsCastr and they were discussing the possibility of the Patriots trading for Golden Tate, and they gave me the stark reminder that Belichick gave up a second round draft pick for Sanu. Despite Tom Brady doing everything he could to get Sanu involved in the game plan, dropped passes and ankle injury derailed everything. Sanu played eight regular season games in New England, he caught 26-passes for 207 yards and one touchdown. After getting Patriots fans excited in the offseason with his workout videos, he was released before the end of training camp. After a cup of coffee in San Francisco, Sanu is a free agent.

With Patriots expected to be active as we creep closer to the trade deadline, and I thought it would be fun to count down the top five worst trades in the Belichick era.

Last modified: October 31, 2020
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