Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Cassel Trade

Color me as one of the people who was unimpressed when I first heard that the Patriots had traded both linebacker Mike Vrabel and quarterback Matt Cassel to Kansas City for a mere second-round draft pick. After the year Cassel had, and with the paucity of good starting quarterbacks in the league, I think most people assumed that the market for him would slowly heat up and that the Pats would eventually be fending off suitors. Instead the Pats got rid of cassel on the first weekend of free agency, giving an indication that they felt the market might not be what they had hoped or that they are just that confident in Tom Brady's recovery from his devastating knee injury.

Whatever the circumstances, I think that the Kraft-Belichick era has shown us one thing, which is that the coach and his support staff know what they are doing. As today's Boston Globe editorial on the trade argues:

But the intensely competitive Belichick did not attain his professional preeminence by peddling talented players at discount prices. Critics of the Cassel trade risk putting themselves in the position of a tourist who thinks he knows that a rug merchant in the Tehran bazaar has sold a couple of carpets too cheap.
That sounds about right. Cassel had a wonderful year this past season and any Patriots fan has to wish him well. But he was not going to supplant Brady this year or anytime in the future and the time to get value for him was going to be fleeting. All's fine in Foxborough.

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