July 29, 2021

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Matt Light draft story proves New England stole…

2 min read
Matt Light draft story proves New England stole...

New England Patriots offensive line icon Matt Light was very nearly drafted by a division rival instead … until Scott Pioli took to the phone and started hustling.

The former Patriots executive hopped on Good Morning Football ahead of the upcoming draft and shared one of his favorite prospect stories of all time.

Probably not coincidentally, it featured the Jets getting pantsed.

At the story’s conclusion, though … you’re left overjoyed, but wondering why Light showed such loyalty to New England over a more competitive team (at the time) in New York? Huh. We digress.

Pioli told host Kyle Brandt that, when he hopped on the phone to profess his desire to choose the OL at No. 50, Light told him the Jets were planning to select him at 49.

Thanks for the top secret intel, Matt! Pioli pulled off a draft day trade that never would’ve happened without Light acting like a spy. Wonder if that got baked into his signing bonus?

Patriots OL Matt Light nearly went to the Jets in the 2001 NFL Draft.

2001 ended up being a fruitful, top-heavy, and dynasty-fortifying draft for the Patriots, who selected Richard Seymour and Light in the first two rounds.

Ultimately, the tackle from Purdue ended up playing 11 nose-to-the-grindstone years in New England, only one of which (2005) was significantly affected by injuries. Three rings later, and Light is now a Patriots Hall of Famer, though Foxborough bias might keep him out of Canton.

There’s nothing wrong with belonging entirely to Pats Nation, though, and once again, we have to pinpoint fate intervening here. Why did Light prefer joining the 2001 Patriots to the 2001 Jets, who were coming off 9-7 and 8-8 years? Tom Brady was still just a sixth-rounder at this point. The Jets were still on the ascent.

Did Light know what he was doing? Did he just let one slip? Did he prefer his pre-draft meetings in New England to his trip to the Meadowlands? Or was he just extremely honest at a very important time?

Never mind how we got here; we’re just glad we did.

Patriots: Matt Light draft story proves New England stole him from Jets