Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick, Steelers Patriots Trade, NY Jets
Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Getty Images

According to Mike Tomlin, the Patriots had an ulterior motive for their first-round draft trade

The NFL draft is full of narratives. One rumor claimed the New York Jets were desperate to land Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs. No substantiated evidence has emerged to confirm this.

Another rumor is starting to look like it could potentially be true. This rumor claimed the Patriots took less draft capital to trade down with the Steelers, based solely on trying to screw the Jets over.

When New England was on the clock at No. 14 – one spot ahead of the Jets at No. 15 – only one of the perceived top-tier offensive tackle prospects was left on the board, Broderick Jones. At this moment, it was widely expected that the Jets would take Jones if he fell to them, considering the OT position was viewed as their top need going into the draft. But the Patriots traded the pick to Pittsburgh for the Steelers’ No. 17 pick and a fourth-round pick (No. 120), and Pittsburgh would take Jones one spot ahead of the Jets. Based on the trade chart, New England received less than equal value for the No. 14 pick.

Rumors quickly began spreading that New England made this trade solely to prevent Jones from going to the Jets. Now, those rumors have virtually been confirmed by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, based on comments he made during a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen show.

“There was a run on the position starting, I think, with Darnell Wright at about 10 and they were coming off pretty clean,” Tomlin said. “And we had that as a position of priority and we had Broderick, as an individual, as a priority. We knew with the acquisition of Aaron Rodgers, (the Jets) might be fishing in those waters. We did what we needed to do to get the player at a position we coveted.

“I’m not gonna delve into the relationship between New England and the Jets. Let’s just say I’m glad we found a partner,” he said. “I’ll put it this way, there wasn’t a lot of hesitation on New England’s end.”

In a way, the idea that Bill Belichick is still bitter over his split with the Jets is actually extremely satisfying for Jets fans.

How does this story come around full circle? A Will McDonald sack of Mac Jones would do that nicely.

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Staff writer for Jets X-Factor, NFL draft writer for SB Nation, Scribe & founder of the Daily Jets Newsletter, host of the UK Jets Podcast, husband and dad. Email: d.wyatt25[at]gmail.com
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4 months ago

NE’s OT group is a complete disaster if they did it to spite anybody it was themselves. I think the idea is preposterous in the first place but ok good for Bill Sleazechick for sticking to the Jets. Riley Reiff and and Trent Brown flat out STINK. If he traded the pick and this OT is any good he should be fired.