When we look back on Belichick's career, there might not be a better example of his brilliance than trading Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins. Beyond the fact that the team just won the Super Bowl - mind you with the #1 defense - without them, it's amazing that Belichick was able to get the assets he did in return. A second round pick that became Thuney and Mitchell and a compensatory pick this year. The defense barely missed a beat without these two, and they just signed for a combined $78M in guaranteed money, well over $100M total. The conventional wisdom was that the Patriots need to lock up at least one of them along with Hightower. By moving on from these guys a year early, we not only received assets in return but had the cap space to fill an absolutely stacked roster. Many of these free agent signings don't exist had we paid a king's ransom, especially for Jones. Did I mention we fielded the number one defense and won the SB without them? Wouldn't that make teams like the Cardinals and Browns wonder if these guys are really worth a blockbuster deal when our defense arguably improved when we replaced them with journeymen players? Just thought I'd make a thread to clearly outline the connection between this offseason of riches, which was setup by avoiding huge deals to players who had no business getting them, despite that they were "all-pro" caliber with great stats and athleticism. As BB says, it's about building a team, not collecting talent. Everyone suspected Belichick had a master plan during his unpopular, headscratching dumps of supposedly cornerstone players needed to contend and who then must become career Patriots. Well, here is the master plan in action, and it is more insanely brilliant than anyone would have imagined.