Bill Belichick’s competition among his NFL coaching brethren has some tendencies of insanity.

They keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

Belichick has a rich history of acquiring castoffs and revitalizing their careers. So when he or Nick Caserio, the Patriots’ director of player personnel, calls about another team’s player, it’s somewhat shocking the voice on the other line doesn’t instantly turn into a dial tone.

The Patriots have made three trades this offseason, snagging wide receiver Brandin Cooks from the Saints, tight end Dwayne Allen from the Colts and defensive end Kony Ealy from the Panthers. All three were shuttled out for different reasons, and all three could play a significant factor for the Patriots in 2017 as they attempt to win their sixth Super Bowl under Belichick.

Panthers Coach Ron Rivera was wise enough to admit that fear does exist. But when Rivera recognized Ealy maxed out his potential with the Panthers, they had to part with their 2014 second-round draft pick. In doing so, Carolina landed the 64th overall pick this year from the Pats, giving up Ealy and the 72nd selection in the process.

“You always do (hesitate to trade with the Patriots) because you always want to be the ones to get (the player) going,” Rivera said this week at the NFL meetings in Phoenix. “But at the same time, this was an opportunity for us to move into the second round. We thought the trade-off was very strong for us.”

Two things are certain. Coaches are deservedly prideful enough to the point where they should at least believe they can install a plan to beat the Patriots when they share a field. And when it’s time to give up on a player, they owe it to themselves to maximize the return on value. So if the Pats offer the best package, that’s life.

But how will Rivera feel if Ealy morphs into the pass rusher who dominated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50? And if Cooks turns into the next Randy Moss, as Patriots owner Robert Kraft projected, how will Saints Coach Sean Payton explain himself to future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees? And if Allen becomes a perfect complementary piece to Rob Gronkowski, how will Colts Coach Chuck Pagano stomach the notion of widening the gap between his team and the unquestioned class of the AFC?

The Patriots surrendered a first- and third-round pick for Cooks and a fourth-rounder, so the Saints armed themselves with significant assets to aid a wretched defense while parting with an unhappy 23-year-old receiver. Two days earlier, the Patriots sent a fourth-rounder to the Colts for Allen and a sixth-round pick, as the Colts were rearranging their finances under the direction of their new general manager, Chris Ballard.

Payton is close with Belichick, so they have a stronger working relationship than most. He also admitted his only trade aversion is with teams in the NFC South, so the Patriots’ superiority is mitigated by their residence in the AFC.

“It certainly would apply to your division,” Payton said of avoiding trades with specific teams. “We’ve had nine trades with New England. We’ve got a good working relationship. Look, it made sense for both Bill and us. I think it was really more about what’s best for our team.”

That sentiment might not be as strong next February if the Patriots claim their third Super Bowl in four years. Privately, the Philadelphia Eagles must have revisited their decision to trade cornerback Eric Rowe to the Patriots for a conditional pick, and ditto for the Detroit Lions after unloading linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Both had fallen out of favor with their original teams but played crucial roles this past season during the Patriots’ run to another Super Bowl title.

And while the Chicago Bears weren’t going anywhere in 2016 with or without tight end Martellus Bennett, they must have watched from afar and wondered why they couldn’t draw the best out of him.

These kinds of trades, as well as signings, have been going on for years. There have been misses along the way, but Belichick’s success rate is as exemplary as it gets.

Perhaps the Patriots’ rivals should be as stubborn with their assets as their pride.

“However it happens, whatever team it is, we’re always going to do what is best for our team and what gives us the best chance to win,” Pagano said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the Patriots or whoever. We’re just trying to find the best option for us as a team. This was a win-win, I think, for both teams.”

History suggests it’ll be a greater victory for the Patriots. That’s partly what separates Belichick from his peers.