The latter line of thinking stemmed from the Patriots signing free-agent James Harrison on Tuesday, perhaps to gain a bit of inside knowledge on the outside linebacker's former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"We're playing the Jets this week. I don't even know what that has to do with it," Belichick said in his Wednesday morning news conference. "Maybe I'm missing something, I don't know."
Follow up questions on Harrison were met with short answers, with Belichick repeating that the Patriots were facing the Jets this week.
Harrison signed a one-year, $1 million contract that will pay him a prorated base salary of $58,824, per sports contract website spotrac.com. The 39-year-old will be eligible to play in the Patriots' regular-season finale against the Jets on Sunday and the playoffs.
To make room for Harrison on the roster, the Patriots released linebacker Trevor Reilly. The 29-year-old Reilly was signed to New England practice squad on Oct. 12 and elevated to the active roster Oct. 25.
New England's depth at linebacker has taken a hit due to injuries. Adding intrigue to a possible signing is that the Patriots and Steelers both have 12-3 record as the top two teams in the AFC, and New England posted a controversial 27-24 victory over Pittsburgh in Week 15.
Harrison recorded 80 1/2 sacks with the Steelers, but saw his role decrease as the Steelers transitioned to more pass-coverage responsibilities for outside linebackers Bud Dupree and rookie T.J. Watt.
The 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Harrison has recorded 82.5 sacks, eight interceptions and 570 tackles in 191 career games with the Cincinnati Bengals and Steelers.
Harrison is perhaps best remembered for his 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals.