March 3, 2009

Cassel's Made of Sand

In the wake of the Matt Cassel/ Mike Vrabel to Pioli and the K.C. Chiefs many Pats fans are wondering why the Pats would make such a lopsided trade for a 2nd round pick. There was also a rumored deal that would have sent Cassel to the Broncos for a potential first round from the Bucs in a three way deal that has Jay Cutler wondering WTF.

What people are underestimating is that the Pats want to make a move in this free agent market. Moving a big contract like Vrabel's gives them the space to make more free agent signings. It also made the recent signings of James Sanders, FredEx, Chris Baker, and Russ Hochstein all possible with a higher level of cap money to spend. While some think Cassel was worth alot more, he may have been, but the market didn't play out the way fan's expectations would have. The Lions reportedly offered the their second round, 33rd pick and other than the Bucs/Broncos three-way nothing was going to benefit the Pats fiscally better than the offer Pioli made. Freeing up the cap space Cassel and Vrabel's contracts would have taken up ultimately was on the Pats front office and Belichick's minds. Don't forget the 2009 expiring contracts Vince Wilfork's contract is up after this season as well as Dick Seymor, and even Logan Mankins all high-value positions in the Pat's system. Some have said Seymor may be expendable after this year with the possibility of Julius Pepper's trade. As we know Belichick's teams are built on strong line play on both sides of the ball.

As for the loss of Vrabs...We've seen indispensable veteran linebackers go away before i.e. Willie McGinest and that worked out no matter how hard it was to see Willie go out that door. Is it a blow to the team leadership? Yes. Vrabel has been heralded as a great anchor on the team in time of need and we have all seen him have big games, but his football life is nearing its end and as we all know the Pats know when to let em go before they lose it. Look on the bright side...Now the Pats have three of the top 50 picks in a linebacker heavy draft. This draft will be like an all you can eat buffet for Belichick who covets linebackers that can play the 3-4 tech. Just look at Jerod Mayo or Gary Guyton for an example of the Pats getting younger at linebacker. The return from injuries of Adalius Thomas and Shawn Crable will help too. After last season the linebackers are the least of our worries on defense.

So in looking at this trade be realistic this is exactly what the Pats do. They make smart fiscal decisions regarding their personnel and never get caught up in others opinions of their talent. While Cassel did have a great year for first year QB it was with an experienced offense that had broken every major record in the previous season. Also take a look at the Pats schedule last year it wasn't exactly as tough as say the Steelers 2008 schedule. While Cassel will no doubt be a serviceable QB he's not going to get you a number one straight up. If you want to cry over it then you obviously haven't been a fan of the way the Pats do business and you shouldn't be surprised either. When it comes down to it the Pats were not going to take the gamble that Cassel would bring in a higher pick that would cost them more when they had what they wanted a value-pick in the middle of the first and second round of the draft. Come on this is right in Belichick's wheel house and you didn't expect him to jump on it. Clear up cap and get another blue chip it's a no brainer, just business as usual in Foxboro. Another day another Dollar!

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Teddy Ballgame

Teddy Ballgame
#9 on the field #1 in our hearts.