The Patriots-Commanders connection that could aid a Belichick trade

The Patriots-Commanders connection that could aid a Belichick trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

If you believe relationships help deals get done, then there might be some substance to the Bill Belichick-Washington Commanders rumors.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio recently floated an intriguing theory that the Commanders could acquire Belichick from the Patriots via trade this coming offseason, allowing New England to start fresh after four seasons of mediocrity post-Tom Brady while still getting something in return for the legendary head coach.

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer believes this theory has some weight, in part because both the Patriots and Commanders might be motivated to get a deal done. Breer explained the factors involved Sunday on Patriots Pregame Live -- including one under-the-radar connection between the teams' top executives.

"This is something I've heard about for over a year now and really more intensely over the last month," Breer said of a potential Belichick trade to Washington. "... There are a few reasons why this would make sense. One, there's a widespread perception in that New England building that (Belichick) still wants to coach, whether it's in Foxboro or somewhere else. Two, it's a historic franchise. Three, it's home for him. Remember, he's from Annapolis, about 45 minutes from (Washington) D.C.

"Four -- and this is the one that you may not know about -- there is a connection there where if a deal needed to be worked out, it could be worked out. Josh Harris, Washington's new owner, went to Harvard Business School with Jonathan Kraft, so there's a relationship between the two families.

"The Krafts are big champions of Harris getting the Commanders. So, if draft pick compensation did need to be worked out, there's a relationship in place that could help make that happen, and maybe that would be the Krafts' elegant solution."

Jonathan Kraft, the Patriots' president and the son of team owner Robert Kraft, has known Harris since 1988 when the two met at Harvard Business School, per Breer. They were in the same graduating class in 1990, and Breer detailed back in May how Jonathan Kraft gave Harris his support when Harris was buying the Commanders.

That connection could help the Patriots and Commanders work out a deal involving Belichick, with Breer speculating that New England could receive a late first-round pick and/or a second-rounder from Washington in a potential trade.

Belichick likely will have multiple suitors if he and the Patriots part ways this coming offseason. But perhaps the Krafts' relationship with Harris -- as well as Harris' possible desire to make a big splash as a new NFL owner -- would move Washington to the front of the line.

"If you look back over the years, you can see new owners coming in and doing something like this to try and build credibility for themselves," Breer added. "Miami had Bill Parcells when (owner) Stephen Ross came in -- that gave Steve Ross some some credibility. After (Jacksonville Jaguars owner) Shad Khan had a rough few years, he brought Tom Coughlin back to bring some credibility to his ownership group.

"I think it would be the same thing here: If Harris were to hire Belichick, it would be a credibility play for the new Commanders owner."

Check out the video above for more intel from Breer about a potential Patriots-Commanders trade.