Mike Tomlin seemingly confirms rumor involving the Patriots from the draft last month

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Bill Belichick's round-one draft tendencies have earned him quite the reputation, as he has become known for trading down no matter when the Patriots are set to pick. But there was hope this year that the head coach wouldn't repeat history since New England was slated to have their highest selection since 2008.

Of course, we all saw what happened come night one; the Patriots traded pick 14 to the Steelers in exchange for pick 17. It was a minor move down, but with the plethora of talent left on the board and acquiring an additional fourth-round pick, the trade made more sense than not.

Then as quickly as the trade happened, speculation began to run rampant online, suggesting the real reason Belichick approved the trade.

According to the rumors, it wasn't to acquire another pick.

It wasn't because more quality players were left on the board than anticipated.

It was because the Steelers would jump ahead of the Jets and take the last top-ranked offensive tackle from landing with New England's bitter divisional foe.

It's no secret how deep the rivalry between the Patriots and Jets goes, or more specifically, the Belichick and Jets feud. So it seems plausible that ensuring the Jets couldn't draft a high-performing offensive tackle was a motivating factor in making the trade. And although Belichick hasn't spoken on the matter, Mike Tomlin did last week and didn't shy away from (kind of) answering.

While appearing on The Rich Eisen Show last week, the Steelers head coach was asked about the decision to make the trade. Tomlin shared that they believed the Jets were likely looking to take Broderick Jones at pick 15, two spots ahead of Pittsburgh, ultimately fueling the decision to find a team to trade with.

Eisen then asked if it was easy to find that trading partner in Belichick, knowing the history between the Patriots and Jets. Tomlin coyly responded and, in his way, slightly confirmed the rumors that have swirled online for the last three weeks.

"You know, I'm not gonna delve into the relationship between New England and the Jets. Let's just say I'm glad we found a partner.

I'll put it this way: There wasn't a lot of hesitation on New England's end."

Although most didn't need confirmation of Belichick's motivation in this instance, it is funny to hear another tenured head coach acknowledge and basically confirm what we've all been saying since last month.

And let's be honest here; who wouldn't want to take any opportunity to make things difficult for the Jets? Even Robert Kraft, the Patriots owner, takes jabs at the team from time to time. It's all in good fun.