In a move that will hopefully quiet the Boston.comers who make it a point in every single comment they make on Reiss’s Pieces to claim that Bill Belichick “gave” Mike Vrabel to Scott Pioli as a going-away present and left his own team with a gaping hole at outside linebacker, the Patriots last night finally completed a trade for Oakland Raiders defensive end Derrick Burgess, who projects to fill that pass rushing outside linebacker role vacated by Vrabel. Yes, that might just be the longest sentence ever composed.
This move had been rumored about for months, with the two teams apparently unable to agree on compensation. Finally, the Patriots agreed to send a 2010 third-round draft choice and a conditional 2010 fourth-round draft choice to Oakland. Burgess, saw his sack totals drop to 3 1/2 last season, but was also being asked to play full time at defensive end, where his 260lb body was a bit undersized. He may not be used on all downs for the Patriots, even at linebacker, perhaps just being put in for pass-rushing downs. You may still see Pierre Woods on the field for first and second downs, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I think Woods gets a bad rap from fans, mostly because of his failure to secure that fumble in the Super Bowl (which should’ve been down in my opinion anyway). He’s a player who has worked hard and suffered an unfortunate injury last season, just as he seemed to be adjusting to life as a starter.
A couple quick thoughts wrapping up the move:
- This addresses what has universally been considered about the Patriots only weakness.
- The price might’ve been a little higher than the Patriots would like, but they got their man.
- When you’re this close to becoming a potentially dominant team, you make this move to potentially put the team over the top.
- He might not be an every down player, but he will help the pass rush considerably.
Elsewhere, Old friend Christopher Price has perhaps the best write-up I’ve seen thus far this morning on Burgess, and what he can bring to the Patriots.