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In the end, cost to hire Bill Belichick was small for Patriots


Now here’s an interesting sports story: Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the NBA’s Boston Celtics are in negotiations to trade coach Doc Rivers and star forward Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers.

How does this relate to the NFL?

Well, it’s hard not to think of the NFL when it comes to coaching trades. Here is a league where some teams have made bold moves for coaches. Think of all the Buccaneers gave up for Jon Gruden in 2002 --$8 million, two first-round picks and two second-round picks.

Gruden, of course, helped lead the Bucs to the Super Bowl title in his first season on the job.

But was that the best coaching trade in recent NFL history?

Not quite.

In 2000, the Patriots surrendered the No. 16 overall selection to hire Bill Belichick from the Jets, with both teams exchanging some lower-round picks, too. The No. 16 pick ended up traded to San Francisco in a deal that allowed the Jets to take Shaun Ellis -- a productive player for many years for New York.

But the Patriots have had nary a regret about making the move for Belichick. In his second season with New England, the Patriots won the Super Bowl, and he’s led the club to three NFL titles in his tenure.

Celtics fans who also happen to root for the Patriots may well lament the departure of Rivers, who has helped guide Boston to an NBA title.

But they can also rest easy knowing Belichick remains with Boston’s professional football team.