Commentary

12 things: Bill Belichick's folly

Trading Randy Moss will come back to bite the Pats boss in the future

Updated: October 8, 2010, 2:13 PM ET
By David Fleming | ESPN The Magazine
Bill Belichick & Randy MossStew Milne/US PresswireThe breakup of this dynamic duo could cause some serious discontent in New England.

You're an agent, a good one, with a quality veteran player who is shopping for his next team -- and Bill Belichick is on the line.

He's giving you the full-court press about why you should bring your client to New England. This, you know, is part of Belichick's genius. Or at least it used to be. He builds depth and talent through the draft and by developing his players through superior coaching, schemes and preparation. But that's not always enough, so to round out his roster he lures in cagey vets with specialized talents who are willing to play for less to take a shot at a Super Bowl ring.

Now, we all know that Belichick is almost never wrong when it comes to football. I'm not being sarcastic or facetious. This is the truth. Most of the time he's operating on a different plane than the rest of the game.

One of the few exceptions, though, was his ill-advised decision to trade Randy Moss to Minnesota. That one is going to haunt Belichick, starting with the very next time he calls your cell trying to lure one of your key veteran free agents to Boston.

"Tell your client I win Super Bowls," Belichick says.

"Randy Moss didn't," you respond. "In fact, it's been six years, and the average career of my clients is less than four."

"Look," Belichick says, "he just has to take a little less to play here, no biggie."

"By a little less, do you mean the $20 million cut Moss took to play for you?"

"Um, OK, then tell your client no one will put him in a better position to succeed," the coach says.

"Really? Like you did for Adalius Thomas?"

"Look," Belichick says, "I respect the game and the players, this is a class organization that takes care of its own. Everyone knows that."

"You mean the way you took care of Mike Vrabel after he played 125 games for you? Or do you mean the way you discarded Richard Seymour in the football wasteland in Oakland?"

And then you say: "You know what, Coach? Not only is my client not gonna take less to play for you, we now want $5 million more. Good luck catching the Jets."

Click.

Well done. You're a natural.

Now, a few minutes later Belichick will call back from a pay phone and ask for more insight on how else the Moss trade will come back to haunt him.

That's when you give him this list.