If you didn't get a chance to listen to Hoodie's interview on WEEI, you can check out Christopher Price's analysis for the goods. You can also get the audio of the interview. The biggest piece of news? There's no deal in the works for Julius Peppers, plain and simple:
“There’s no trade talks going on with Carolina,” he said. “They don’t have a signed contract. They can’t talk about trading a player that isn’t signed.”
Simply put, without a signed contract, commonly referred to as a "tender" in franchise situations, Carolina doesn't "own" Peppers and can't deal him to anyone. Much of the conversation was like a class on how you can do trades, but Bill did mention a deal could be done through Peppers' agent; Belichick expressed his distaste for this way of doing it:
Belichick acknowledged that when looking to swing a deal with a player who hasn’t yet signed a franchise tender, the interested team could use the agent as an intermediary. But he didn’t sound like a man who would be interested in brokering a deal through Peppers’ agent, Carl Carey.
”I don’t think that’s a good way to do business,” he said. ”I personally would not do it that way. I think if a player wants to be traded or wants to be in a position where he could be traded, then the best thing for that player to do is do what Matt Cassel did, sign the tender, be under contract, and then go to the team and say, ‘OK, I don’t want to be here, trade me, this is where I want to go.’”
Regarding Jason Taylor, Coach was very non-commital in a typical Belichick-ian sort of way:
“So I wouldn’t want to comment on any player that’s not on our team, as far as that goes. We have a lot of respect for Jason and a lot of other players that are out there too. … We just have to see how ultimately all that could and would work together.”
The Cassel deal with the Chiefs was discussed at length. In essence, the Patriots had a firm deal from KC and noone else. Belichick obviously did the right thing for his organization and the player by going with the definite deal. Everything else, as Belichick explains in his interview, was hearsay and conjecture; he had talked to many "interested" teams 24 to 48 hours prior to the KC trade, but nothing developed. Recognizing the shrinking market, he went with KC:
“We pretty much had the deal done with Kansas City because there really wasn’t any interest,” Belichick said. “And some of the teams said a three-way trade and that kind of thing, and those teams — and I don’t want to get into specifics — but believe me, those teams I had contact with 24 to 48 hours before confirmation of the trade with Kansas City, and those teams said they had no interest in the player.
“And you know, all of a sudden, we’ve got a situation at the last minute, ‘Well, we would have done this, we would have done that.’ There was no offer. … The bottom line is it was never really there, presented. It was like, ‘Yeah, maybe this could happen,’ but it was never presented like ‘Here’s a firm offer.’”
The next comment shows how disconnected even members of the sports media can be. In a sense, trades take time to develop and work. Talks, paperwork, etc... all take resources and work. They don't happen with a five minute phone call:
“Getting a contract done, getting a trade done, getting all that, to think that’s going to happen in five minutes in a situation like that that came up that weekend — which is what I think some people have kind of put out there — I don’t think that’s really accurate,” he said. “It just doesn’t really happen like that in this league.”
Finally, was Belichick in colusion with Pioli, working the Cassel/Vrabel trade to set Scott up for success? Hoodie claims nonsense:
“Look, I have all the respect in the world for Scott Pioli.” Belichick said. “He’s a great friend, and he’s a terrific executive and personnel manager, but I work for the Patriots. I have no loyalty to anybody or any team other than the New England Patriots. Everything I do is for our team to win and be successful. And that’s what my commitment is.”