NFL Notebook: With deadline nearing, breaking down Bill Belichick’s favorite trade partners

(Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

Taking a weekend trip around the NFL with a focus on the Patriots…

1. October promises to be an eventful month for the Patriots. New England has its first divisional game of the season against the Jets and a Super Bowl rematch with the Falcons on tap. In addition, the NFL trade deadline looms at the end of October, and if past history is any indication, New England will at least attempt to be an active participant. With that in mind, we decided to take a look at Bill Belichick’s favorite trade partners over the years. Since he took command of the Patriots in 2000, here’s a list of every team he’s traded with at least five times.

Nine trades: Oakland, New Orleans
Eight trades: Green Bay, Chicago
Seven trades: Detroit, Denver
Six trades: Tampa Bay, Houston, Philadelphia
Five trades: Cleveland, Baltimore

Of course, some of these totals need to be put in context — some of Belichick’s favorite trade partners (like Mike Shanahan in Denver) are no longer at their old jobs. But given the fact that Belichick has ties to decision-makers in Detroit, Houston and Tampa Bay and has deep relationships with current head coaches like Sean Payton (New Orleans), there appear to be some natural trade partners on this list who could be getting a phone call from Belichick prior to the Oct. 31 deadline.