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Patriots fielding calls to trade draft picks

Bill Belichick

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick watches as AFC players hold their first practice Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in Honolulu, for Sunday’s NFL football Pro Bowl. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

AP

Patriots coach Bill Belichick loves stockpiling extra draft picks in trades, which is why New England has Oakland’s first-round pick, Carolina’s second-round pick and Minnesota’s third-round pick this year. And it doesn’t look like Belichick is done trading.

Belichick said on Sirius/XM NFL Radio on Monday that with the rest of the league aware that the Patriots have a bounty of draft picks, New England is already getting calls from teams that want one of the picks the Patriots have.

We’ve definitely been contacted by teams below us offering to move back, and by teams behind us looking to move up,” Belichick said, via USA Today. “There definitely seems to be a lot of interest in our draft picks. And as you know we’re not afraid to trade them.”

One of Belichick’s favorite draft-day tactics is to trade a pick this year for a higher pick next year. This year the Patriots own the first pick of the second round (and thus the second day), and it’s quite likely that some team will call Belichick before the second round starts to offer the Patriots a first-round pick in 2012 for the right to choose first in the second round of 2011. So the Patriots won’t just use all those picks to bolster their 2011 roster; they also may look to build a stockpile of 2012 picks.

But Belichick also said he doesn’t just want to keep trading for the future forever.

“Sooner or later,” Belichick said, “you’ve got to convert those picks into productive players.”