I cant believe there are still fans on the board griping about BB's decision to trade out of the 1st round. Have we learned nothing, people? They are already upset that even with two 1sts in 2012 BB is likely to trade one of those picks into 2013 anyway-- "so what's the point?" Well, if it's not already obvious, let me spell it out. The point is that BB has a nice little annuity going that could run as long as he can find trading partners, and the payout is a 2nd round pick annually. Here's where our first rounders this year have worked out this year... 2011 1st (#17) = Neal Solder (2011) 2011 1st (#28) = Shane Vereen (2011) + 2012 1st (New Orleans) So, next year, lets say we get... 2012 1st (from New Orleans) 2012 1st (our own) = 2012 2nd + 2013 1st ... and suppose this trading is infinitely repeatable... 2013 1st (from trade) 2013 1st (our own) = 2013 2nd + 2014 1st If BB keeps this up, he should be able to draft a 1st and two 2nds every year for the rest of his career. How's that for a nice little annuity? Thanks to the Richard Seymour trade plus his willingness to be patient, he has a system that will give him an extra 2nd round pick every year for... forever. Nice sustainable competitive advantage, I'd say. He's been incredibly successful converting 2nd rounders the last two years, with Gronk, Chung, Vollmer, Spikes, Cunningham proving the point that you can find game breaking talent with very low risk. Here's hoping the streak continues. As a bonus, this approach gives BB the opportunity to be in the playoffs every year, and still choose a first rounder in the teens every year, instead of in the thirties. Gives him persistent access to a higher level of first round talent than the Colts, Eagles and Steelers will have a shot at, even if they fall out of the playoffs earlier than the Pats. The Richard Seymour Annuity isn't the first time BB has had this opportunity. The Drew Bledsoe Annuity gave us a similar dynamic in 2003 and 2004. 2003 1st (#13) = Ty Warren (2003) 2003 1st (#19) = Eugene Wilson (2003) + 2004 1st (Baltimore) 2004 1st (#21) = Vince Wilfork (2004) 2004 1st (#32) = Benjamin Watson (2004)... so the loop stops, because he picked Watson instead of paying it forward into the 2004 2nd + 2005 1st Now, imagine if BB had traded #32 to New Orleans in 2004, for a 2005 1st rounder plus their 2nd. The Saints selected Deverey Henderson with their 2nd, and the early 2005 1st rounder could have been Demarcus Ware. It would have meant keeping Christian Fauria on the roster a few years longer, not having Watson. But now, in retrospect, would that have been so bad? Let's play it the other way... what if BB had traded up in 2003 instead of down? He could have traded as high as #4 overall, and instead of Warren, Wilson and Wilfork, he could have had his choice between Jonathan Sullivan, Dwayne Robertson or Terence Newman. It's laughable now, but a lot of fans on this board really wanted us to move up for a "blue chipper" like Sullivan. Also, the Deon Branch Annuity showed some potential before a sad break-loop 2007 1st (#23) = Brandon Meriweather (2007) 2007 1st (#28) = Randy Moss (2007) + 2008 1st (San Francisco) 2008 1st (#7) = Jerod Mayo (2008) + Shawn Crable (2008) 2008 1st (forfeited, spygate)... so the loop stops, because the league slapped the team Again, instead of trading down for Moss + Mayo + Crable and Meriweather, if BB had traded up from #23 + #28, he could have gotten as high as #8 overall, which could have been Jamaal Anderson, Ted Ginn or Patrick Willis, two of which have been huge busts. It looks like BB isn't just playing this strategy game with his 1st rounders. He's doing the same thing by monetizing extra 3rd round picks into future 2nds, which he's done a few times now. And trading Cassel + Vrabel to the Chiefs gave us Chung at 34, allowing BB to make an incredible series of trades that converted the #23 overall pick in 2009 into the following four players: Darius Butler (2009), Brandon Tate (2009), Julian Edelman (2009) and Rob Gronkowski (2010). Gronkowski is worth the 1st rounder on his own. How is this possible? It seems as if BB is "creating" draft value. And, in fact, he is. The price to pay is a willingness to be patient. And patience can only come with job security and a confidence that he'll be there to take advantage of the good draft positioning in the future, which is something you can credit Bob Kraft for creating. I think we should all be grateful to be fans for a franchise that can afford to take the long view, and has the smarts and discipline to pull it off. So, stop whining and show some respect.