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According to the Boston Globe but first reported by NFL Guru Adam Schefter, the Patriots have given Josh McDaniels and the Broncos some defensive help by trading away DE LeKevin Smith to Denver. The Pats officially sent Smith and a 2010 seventh round pick to the Broncos for a fifth round selection.
This trade with the Broncos also involves the Raiders. The Patriots’ trade with the Raiders for Derrick Burgess was conditional. Initially, the Patriots were going to send a third and fourth round pick in the deal. If they came across an a fifth round pick (via trade), then it was agreed they would send that pick instead of the fourth round pick. They now have that fifth round pick, and will send it instead of their fourth round pick to the Raiders.
The Patriots originally traded their fifth round pick to the Bucs for TE Alex Smith. Confused? Let me sort it out:
Reaction: Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick are scratching each others’ back with this move. The Patriots send a lesser pick to the Raiders (a Broncos AFC West rival), and the Broncos allow the Patriots to do so by sending their fifth round pick for an extra defensive lineman.
This seems to be following a trend of the Pats dealing with former coaches and former GMs (Josh McDaniels is now the head coach in Denver). Smith had 14 tackles in 2008 and seems to have dropped on the depth chart with the arrival of rookie Ron Brace and other defensive linemen.