REPORT: Trade Talks Heat Up For Bledsoe

Ian Logue
April 18, 2002 at 11:20 pm ET

Talks may be heating up with Buffalo,
but whether or not a deal gets done before the draft is another story.
(File Photo)

ESPN.com is reporting that talks between New England and Buffalo are heating up and that a deal could be consummated before the weekend to bring Drew Bledsoe to upstate New York.

It was initially reported that faced with the prospect that Bledsoe will not report to training camp, New England
may now be prepared to reduce its demands.  The Bills are only reportedly offering a 3rd round selection and a possible conditional draft choice next season.

One league source told ESPN.com that the Bills “really believe they’re going to get (Bledsoe) now.”

Bill Belichick told the media last week that he “would be very surprised if anything happened before the draft in that area” when asked about whether or not he felt a deal could be made on a trade of Bledsoe.

“I don’t know where anybody’s going,” said Belichick.  “They’re all under contract so I would expect them to be at training camp.”

Neither team that has expressed interest in Bledsoe, the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, were willing to part with their first round picks this weekend.  The Patriots have reportedly been looking for a first round pick for the 9-year veteran, and it would be surprising if they didn’t remain steadfast on their demands.

However faced with the possibility of having Brady and Bledsoe face off in training camp, Belichick may be changing his mind.

Any team that does trade for him aren’t looking at paying him ridiculous amount of money, especially for a starting quarterback.  His current contract is really only for three years, with a total of $16.5 million in base salaries.  He’s scheduled to earn $5 million in 2002, $5.5 million in 2003, and $6 million in 2004.

Seems like a pretty good deal for any team.

The Pats believe he’s worth a first round pick but the Bills apparently are saying they won’t give it to them.

Fans will now just have to wait and see exactly what the ransom will be.

BILLS
DRAFT SELECTIONS (ROUNDS 1-3)
Round 1: 4th overall
Round 2: 4th selection
(36th overall)
Round 3: 4th selection
(69th overall)
Round 3: 32nd
selection (97th overall) – Compensatory pick
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