3. Trading Jamie Collins (2016)
Yup! Another shocking Belichick move. The Patriots’ head coach traded Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins in 2016 for a 2017 third-round draft pick. Collins was an enormous piece of the Patriots 2014 Super Bowl victory over Seattle, and was one of those young defenders who seemed destined for a legendary career.
When selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Belichick suffered some criticism since Collins was extremely un-polished raw football player from Southern Mississippi.
After one Pro Bowl campaign and a Super Bowl ring secured by the age of 27, Collins seemed like he would end up being another all-time great Patriots defender. To add to the shock of the trade itself, Collins was sent away after Week 8 and a 7-1 record to the start the season. Despite their hot start to the season, Belichick felt like the Patriots needed a locker room shakeup with Collins rumored to be undisciplined at times … and maybe to just remind the team that anyone is trade-able in New England.
Why was this a fleece, though? The Pats got a third-round pick in exchange for eight games of Collins, who then went on to sign a four-year, $50 million deal with Cleveland. He played 30 total games with the Browns before returning to the Patriots in 2019.