Part of “The Patriot Way” is trading or cutting players even if they’re popular and it might not go over well in the locker room.
The New England Patriots have built up some benefit of the doubt in that department. They have won a lot. The Detroit Lions have not.
Matt Patricia is doing things “The Patriot Way.” This week the Lions traded popular safety Quandre Diggs, a captain and leader, to the Seattle Seahawks for virtually nothing. Lions players weren’t happy.
And Diggs was as surprised as anyone.
Quandre Diggs ‘blindsided’
Diggs said he was taking a nap with his three-month-old daughter when he got traded, according to NBC Sports Northwest. He woke up to multiple missed calls, and called his agent. His agent told him he was traded to Seattle.
“Man, I’m asleep, I’m not headed to Seattle,” Diggs said he told his agent, according to NBC Sports Northwest. “What do you mean? It’s an off day.”
His agent informed him again that he was traded to the Seahawks.
“I was blindsided by it, honestly,” Diggs said.
Everyone seemed to be surprised. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll didn’t figure Diggs was even available.
“We’re lucky to get him,” Pete Carroll said, according to NBC Sports Northwest. “We didn’t think that could be possible. We were looking, and it happened to pop up just right.”
Diggs trade was surprising
A couple weeks ago, the Lions were 2-1-1 and were in good shape. Losses to Green Bay and Minnesota weren’t good, but at 2-3-1 the Lions weren’t out of playoff contention yet.
That’s why the Diggs trade was odd. And it’s not just the trade in a vacuum. It’s the ongoing referendum on Patricia as Lions coach. Patricia has done a lot of things to create waves in Detroit. This season seemed a lot calmer in regards to off-field headlines with players being unhappy with his style. Then the Diggs trade happened.
Long, long ago, the Patriots cut safety Lawyer Milloy. He was popular, and a captain. It upset some of his teammates. That move ended up being the best example of Bill Belichick making moves that might be unpopular but generally work out. That came in 2003, after New England had already won a Super Bowl. Patricia is 8-13-1 as Lions coach.
Many of Belichick’s assistants have failed, and a common thread has been copying things the Patriots do that might not necessarily work out in other places, without Belichick’s Hall-of-Fame coaching acumen to make it work. But hey, Patricia got his Lawyer Milloy moment. Now we wait to see if the same type of Patriots-level success follows.
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