Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Management Tour de Force by the New England Patriots

Good morning, Fantastic Football Fans!

Are you feeling motivated this morning?

I certainly hope so. I know that I am!

Most people who love football were watching the NFL draft over the weekend. Naturally, all attention is initially placed on the top prospects. They sit in a special place and look nervous. For some the wait is almost immediately over. For others the wait can be long, painful, and expensive as the size of their contracts drops by a million dollars with each selection. That's exactly what happened to Brady Quinn, the quarterback of the Fighting Irish, as he fell to being the 22nd pick in the first round.

In the early going, it looked like Cleveland (where Patriots alum, Romeo Crennel coaches) had stolen the show by trading a 2008 first round draft pick to get Brady Quinn to be paired with their superb first choice, Joe Thomas of Wisconsin.

The Patriots surprised many of their fans by trading their second first round pick (#28 overall) to San Francisco for SF's 2008 first round pick (almost guaranteed to be in the top 15) and SF's 2007 fourth round pick. That was an exceptional deal leaving New England with two first round picks in 2008. At the time, there were no top-flight players left in positions for which New England needs help.

A hint of things to come came late on Saturday night when the Patriots traded down with their 3rd round pick to help out Oakland. Now, why would anyone want to help Al Davis? I immediately wondered about Randy Moss. Rumors had been swirling for months that the Patriots wanted Moss. Moss had made it clear he wanted out of Oakland.

Then, the world was stunned the next morning when the Patriots traded their 4th round pick (acquired from SF) for Randy Moss! Moss reportedly runs faster now in the 40 yard dash than any one in the 2007 draft!

The management story is even more impressive. Negotiations started at midnight and were concluded by 8 a.m. New England had to negotiate a deal with Oakland, Randy Moss's contract had to be negotiated in broad terms, and the Patriots had to restructure Tom Brady's deal to get Moss in under the salary cap for 2008. Could any other franchise have done that in 8 hours during the middle of the night? I don't think so.

I don't know whether the Patriots will win any more games in 2007-2008 than they did in 2006-2007 because so much depends on injuries.

But clearly, if all it took were good management, the Patriots would win the Super Bowl every year.

Bravo to Bob Kraft, Coach Belichick, Scott Pioli, and the rest of the Patriots organization!

Until the season starts, I'll be dreaming about Randy Moss running free and leaping above shorter cornerbacks and safeties to snare endless touchdown passes. What a great gift the Patriots have given us to fill in the time until training camp opens!

Go Pats!

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2007 Donald W. Mitchell

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