From Pat Kirwan- http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9482175 The Patriots are a quick study under head coach Bill Belichick and vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli and now they have switched gears to another method of securing talent. The latest trade of receiver Bethel Johnson to the Saints for underachieving former first-round defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan makes perfect sense. Sullivan was the sixth overall pick in the 2003 draft and he now joins his former college teammate Richard Seymour, who also was the sixth overall pick in the 2001 draft. If anyone can get the underachieving Sullivan to play the way a first-round DT should play, it will be Seymour, who is emerging as the leader of the Patriots defense now that Willie McGinest is playing for the Browns. Here's why the trade makes sense this time of year in the cap environment we are in today: Johnson was scheduled to make a salary of $478,000, which now becomes the Saints' responsibility if he makes the team. The Patriots get that salary cap space back, minus the signing bonus still left on the contract. Trades are considered the same as a termination before June 1, so the Patriots must absorb the remaining bonus now. Johnson only had $350,000 left to pay off in the cap, so in fact New England gained cap space by trading Johnson. Subtract the $350,000 obligation from the $478,000 salary and the Patriots created $128,000 in cap space. But here comes Sullivan and his salary of $689,000. The Patriots only need an extra $83,000 of space when they combine the space created by moving Johnson to fit Sullivan under the cap. And that's nothing considering teams are all managing salary caps at over $100 million. If Sullivan doesn't shape up and the Patriots cut him in August, they never paid him a penny and they would recoup the $689,000 of cap space. It looks like New England is back in business once again.