FanDuel - WFBC

February 28, 2009

Kansas City here I come: The Patriots have traded away recently franchise-tagged backup quarterback Matt Cassel to the Chiefs. Former Pats offensive coordinator and recently hired Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels offered Pro-Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler in an attempt to get Cassel. Now from Denver, Cutler is pissed and demanding to be traded. Clearly, McDaniels doesn't buy into the rankings. HilarityDrama ensues.

posted by geekyguy to football at 10:03 PM - 24 comments

You wonder if the Pats would have made the move were Pioli and McDaniels still in New England. Those guys might have lobbied to keep Cassell. Even with the frightful salary math.

This means they like not only Brady's rehab, but also their third string QB's potential to become another Cassell, and the new OC's ability to do as good a job with the QB's and offense as McDaniels has done.

That's a lot of ifs and maybes. It would be more like Belichick to trade Brady to the 49ers for all of their draft picks for the next two years and go with Cassell. (Brady having a wife, a son, a home, and his parents all in California.)

The thing that bothers me is that the Pats didn't get more in value for Cassell and Vrabel. Belichick doesn't enjoy drafting in the first round, but still, he could haul in some picks and move them to other people who love playing the first round sweepstakes game.

Knowing the Pats, this move is just part of a larger scheme. But my gut tells me I don't like the move.

posted by beaverboard at 07:25 AM on March 01

Cassel and Vrabel for a No. 2 is a pretty good trade by the Chiefs. I don't think the Pats could have kept Cassel at that salary without sending a message to Brady that his days were numbered. Teams don't do well with a No. 2 as good as Cassel.

The Pats also picked up Fred Taylor this week. I think that will prove to be a good move for them. He's still got some gas in the tank.

posted by rcade at 07:58 AM on March 01

The thing that bothers me is that the Pats didn't get more in value for Cassell and Vrabel. KC's second round pick is essentially a late first-round pick. It's a good deal for a declining veteran and a quarterback who was going to handcuff the team financially. They had to franchise Cassell but, at the same time, it was a gamble. It paid off. They can use the pick to get a stud defender to shore up the defense.

It's amazing, though, to see trades across sports and the return value they get for above average players. In the NHL, it's not out of the ordinary to trade your first round pick for a player that you might have for 30 games. In the NFL, it's so financially difficult to sign first round players that most teams will ask for a second or combination of picks instead.

posted by dfleming at 10:11 AM on March 01

He's still got some gas in the tank.

Speaking of the Pat's backfield, was Jordan injured or something? I thought he'd do well in NE, but didn't see his name about much. I have no excuse for not knowing; I live in the NE TV broadcast zone and play fantasy football with a keen eye.

As a Maryland grad/fan maybe I have the rose-coloured glasses on, but he had at least one very good season in Oakland. I like Willie Parker, but I'd love to see a healthy LaMont Jordan in the Steelers' backfield!

I think this is a good trade for both teams. The Pats don't need any more 1st and 2nd round picks (very expensive) and do a good job of getting the personnel they rate highly via the draft and FA (Taylor too, geez). Vrabel's getting old, and Cassell had a good first year, and 11-5 was a good result despite not making the playoffs, but he never started until this year since HS (is that correct?) A second round pick is fair and make it easy to pull the trigger for both team's GMs.

posted by scully at 12:30 PM on March 01

Speaking of the Pat's backfield, was Jordan injured or something? I thought he'd do well in NE, but didn't see his name about much. I have no excuse for not knowing; I live in the NE TV broadcast zone and play fantasy football with a keen eye.

He was inconsistent and hurt, which sums up Lamont to a tee. He had moments that he looked like a feature back and others where he disappeared.

posted by dfleming at 02:09 PM on March 01

Getting the number 34 pick for what amounts to a massive salary dump is a pretty good deal to me. Between Mike Vrabel and Matt Cassel, NE has gained about $19M in cap space. They need this to make some moves with players now on their roster (Vince Wilfork is one) and to make some free agent signings, particularly in the defensive backfield. Trading Mike Vrabel is a tough move to make when your linebacker corps is already thin, but NE has a couple of younger players who might work out, and this year's draft is supposedly rich in 3-4 OLB types.

Adding Fred Taylor is a significant upgrade over the tandem of Sammy Morris and LaMont Jordan, one of whom will likely stay. Laurence Maroney is coming off another injury, and if he can stay healthy, and especially if he can play up to his potential, NE will have a very strong set of running backs.

posted by Howard_T at 03:04 PM on March 01

Initially I was surprised that New England didn't get more than a 2nd round pick for Cassel and Vrabel, but with that pick being number 34 it gives them the opportunity to get a very good player without paying an obscene amount of money.

Howard, I agree with your last statement. If Maroney can play up to his potential the Maroney/Taylor tandem would be a strong running combination that would wear down opponents.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:08 PM on March 01

To characterize this as a $19MM salary dump is a little misleading, as the Pats franchised Cassell with no real intention of keeping him (and already having an 8 figure QB on the roster). So, yes, they did save $14MM by trading him, but I suspect that money was never in their cap estimations in the first place. That said, it was well played by the Patriots to do so and get a 2nd rounder in the process. As has been noted above, the fact that 1st round picks can be more trouble than their worth plus the fact that this is a very high 2nd round pick, makes this a good deal for both sides.

Kind of hard to believe that the Cowboys gave up a 1 this year, plus a 3 and a 6 next year for Roy Williams, huh?

posted by holden at 04:19 PM on March 01

Interesting the contrast between Belichick's relations with Mangini after he left the Pats and with Pioli now that he's gone to KC.

Belichick and Pioli remain connected enough to complete a significant deal soon after Pioli's departure.

By locking up Cassell with the franchise tag and then sending him to Pioli, one of the Pats primary incentives may have been the need to make completely sure that Cassell didn't go to the Jets one way or another. Who would surely welcome him with open arms and checkbook. (Or to another division rival if not the Jets.)

Pioli was a willing trading partner to help make sure that didn't happen, and reaped the benefit. Who knows how long ago this scenario could have come up in discussion between Scott and Bill? I'll bet it wasn't the day before yesterday.

In fact, it could be that the inclusion of Vrabel required more work than any other aspect of the deal.

I just hope that New England's offensive line is as good as people seem to think they are.

posted by beaverboard at 04:39 PM on March 01

Getting rid of Cassel now makes good sense, and thinking they could get better than a second round pick is really doubtful. Cassel had a really good season last year, but there's no guarantee he would do it again this coming season. I remember how other teams were lining up for Derek Anderson last year from the Browns, but they wound up holding onto him. That decision didn't work out too well, and I'm sure if they could turn back the clock the Browns would gladly take a second-round pick for him (Anderson).

posted by dyams at 05:54 PM on March 01

"their" (in my post above) = "they are"/"they're". Edit window closed a long time ago, but I do not want others to think that there better than me when it comes to grammar/spelling/correct use of homonyms.

posted by holden at 10:57 PM on March 01

I hope this works out for the Chiefs - they probably deserve it, but I have to believe it's a pretty big risk to take a QB who had one good year (under Belichick, with good receivers) at a salary this big.

posted by fabulon7 at 09:12 AM on March 02

holden, your kidding, rite?

posted by yerfatma at 01:18 PM on March 02

I hope this works out for the Chiefs - they probably deserve it, but I have to believe it's a pretty big risk to take a QB who had one good year (under Belichick, with good receivers) at a salary this big.

Agreed. Kansas City needs a break because their string of amazing running backs who end up on the IR half the time killed whatever progress they were making. They've had star players, they just can't get healthy, Payton Manning star players and maybe Cassell is a step towards a more balanced offensive attack which can allow LJ a few downs off.

posted by dfleming at 01:18 PM on March 02

"their" (in my post above) = "they are"/"they're". Edit window closed a long time ago, but I do not want others to think that there better than me when it comes to grammar/spelling/correct use of homonyms.

omg pwn3d lolerskates

posted by dfleming at 01:19 PM on March 02

yerfatma -- I guess you could say that my posting has it's fair share of problems, but I'm really just hear for the free cheese and crackers, okay?

posted by holden at 05:50 PM on March 02

This post seems to focus a lot on Cassell, as it should, but very few are mentioning Brady. Granted, he is not the most mobil QB in the leauge to begin with, but this type of catastrophic knee injury may plague him for the rest of his career. Who is the 3rd string QB? Will he have a career year if Brady goes down again? MY gut says no. And holden? you meant here....right? I for one would never ridicule for spelling or grammer.

posted by scuubie at 06:17 PM on March 02

Who is the 3rd string QB? Will he have a career year if Brady goes down again? MY gut says no.

Everyone's gut said the same thing about Matt Cassell.

posted by dfleming at 06:36 PM on March 02

Granted, he is not the most mobil QB in the leauge What the heck is a leauge? And, what does Brady's choice in gas companies have to do with it? Sorry, couldn't resist. Anyway, I do agree with your thought that it's quite a risk to bank on Brady being 100%. Many teams saw promising seasons evaporate when their starting QB went down, but, I suppose he was too expensive of a back up. Speaking of back up QB's, I'm good with my Vikings picking up Rosenfels, but I do wonder about the Cowboys picking up Kitna. He's getting pretty old, and there was a bit of bad blood between him and the Cowboys. Can't see how he's much of an improvement over Brad Johnson.

posted by dviking at 06:04 AM on March 03

this type of catastrophic knee injury may plague him for the rest of his career

Why, yes, it may -- and I may get hit by a bus on my way to the Starbuck's. I'm betting not, and I'm betting that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (who have forgotten more about football than you or I will ever know) have a shrewd idea that the "plague" is going to be within endurable levels. But, hey, why not second-guess, it's fun...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:55 AM on March 03

Who is the 3rd string QB?

Meet Kevin O'Connell.

posted by yerfatma at 03:03 PM on March 03

Meet Kevin O'Connell.

To yerfatma's info, I might add that O'Connell played quite a bit in the preseason last year, and many were saying that he should have been the #2 ahead of Cassel. He needs a lot of work on his release and accuracy, but then so did Cassel in his first year or two. I don't think I'd feel too uncomfortable throwing him into the fire should Brady go down again.

posted by Howard_T at 05:37 PM on March 03

I agree with Howard T. The cap flexibility is great for the Pats. While they could have gotten more, upon closer inspection, they have, what 4 picks in the second round now? And they won't have to pay those absolutely ridiculous top ten pick salaries? It's a calculated move.

What's the deal with Cutler though? Here's a guy who looked like a good QB, but the Broncos seem to be more than okay with letting him go. Is he just a giant douchbag or something? Or have I missed part of the story?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:56 PM on March 03

I think McDaniels felt he could work well with Cassell, but I honestly don't know. I like Cassell, but I think if I were starting a team, I'd prefer Cutler.

posted by yerfatma at 08:49 PM on March 03

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