NFL News of April 13, 2003

If the Patriots climb back to the top of the AFC East this year, they’ll surely have a list of people to thank for it. Perhaps free agent linebacker Rosevelt Colvin will top that list. Maybe it will be new safety Rodney Harrison. It could be one of the 2003 draft picks.

But as of now, with the season-opener still five months away, no one has done more to improve the Pats’ fortunes than a certain non-combatant in the nation’s capital.

Thank you, Daniel Snyder.

The Napoleonic owner of the Washington Redskins has sliced up the roster of the Pats’ most bitter division rival this offseason, taking away the New York Jets’ top receiver (Laveranues Coles), top return man (Chad Morton), longtime place kicker (John Hall) and starting guard (Randy Thomas).

…Needing a fifth-round pick to settle compensation due the Jets for the Morton signing, the Redskins called Foxboro and executed a trade for just such a pick. The only problem was the Redskins never specified which one of the Pats’ two fifth-rounders they wanted, and it turned out the fifth-rounder the Pats offered wasn’t high enough to secure Morton. So the Redskins had to come back to the table and swap third-round picks with the Pats – who moved up from 81 to 75 in the round – and also give up an additional 2004 fourth-rounder for the Pats’ higher fifth-rounder.

— Michael Felger, The Boston Herald “Pats win ‘Skins game”

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