The New England Patriots' trade with the New York Jets last week involving Demaryius Thomas ended a twenty-year dry spell between the AFC East competitors.

And if you ask Bill Belichick, that dry spell may have continued if not for the current circumstances.

When asked Tuesday about the Patriots' recent trade with the Jets -- their first since acquiring Belichick himself from New York in 2000 -- the head coach admitted there was a point where he wouldn't have even considered dealing with New York.

"There was a certain period of time when there's no way this transaction would have happened," Belichick said on a conference call with reporters.

That's a notable admission for a head coach who's committed to doing what's best for the team, regardless of optics. But as Belichick explained, the calculus of trading with a team you play twice a year is more complicated.

"We don't want to help the Jets, they don't want to help us," Belichick said. "We're in the same division, so they're not the easiest trades to make. ... But in the end, if it helps us in the other 14 games and helps our team, then it's something that's worth considering. We'll try to help our team in any way we can."

We can see why Belichick was open to dealing with a Jets team that's been ravaged by injuries and appears to pose no threat in the AFC East following an 0-2 start. Better that than doing business with the Jets of the Rex Ryan era, who went 11-5 in 2010 and upset the Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round.


"When you look at the beginning of each year, inter-division trading is probably not something that you think is going to be at the top of the list," Belichick added. "But we traded with Buffalo this year, too (acquiring center Russell Bodine from the Bills), so we made two inter-division trades within a week. You never know."

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