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The Jimmy Garoppolo trade leaves the New England Patriots horribly exposed

Tom Brady is as brilliant as ever at 40. But the Patriots are one bad tackle away from mounting a Super Bowl challenge without a reliable quarterback

We should know better than to question Bill Belichick’s football genius. It’s almost exactly one year since the New England Patriots head coach traded linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a third-round draft pick. It’s a move that still defies conventional thought 12 months on. Collins appeared at the Pro Bowl months earlier after recording five forced fumbles, five sacks and 51 solo tackles in the 2015 regular season. “The best defensive player we’ve got, the most athletic guy on the team,” is how former Patriots team-mate Dont’a Hightower described him.

None of that controversy matted in February. No one asked whether Belichick had made the right call to trade Collins. Belichick was the coach behind the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and the Patriots had won another Lombardi Trophy, the team’s fifth under his leadership. Questioning Belichick is not a smart move.

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