When the news broke on Friday that the Chiefs had traded for Matt Cassel, my first reaction was, “Meh”. Not really a big deal if you ask me. The Chiefs get Cassel and Vrabel and the Patriots get the Chiefs’ 1st round pick (and possibly another pick). Again, not a big deal. But as the details of the deal started to leak out, I began to realize something else is going on here. The Chiefs essentially got both Cassel and Vrabel for just a 2nd round pick? They get their starting quarterback, a veteran linebacker to help with their ailing defense, and keep the #3 pick in the upcoming draft. Huh?
For a brief second, I caught myself thinking, “man, this Scott Pioli fella is an absolute magician”, but I quickly remembered that Bill Belichick is involved so there has to be more to this story. Enter the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is where things get very interesting. Both the Lions and the Bucs were said to have had interest in getting Cassel, but not for the same reasons that Pioli wanted him. They were both looking to get Cassel to trade him to the Denver Broncos for Jay Cutler. So, stay with me now. We now have the Lions, Bucs, Broncos, and Jay Cutler involved in this. Yeah, something is definitely up.
Now of course, Jay Cutler’s panties are in a bunch about his name being brought up in trade talks. And we’re now learning that it was more than just “talk”. Jay Cutler should have been a goner. The Patriots would have received the 12th pick in the draft in a three way deal that would have sent Cassel to the Broncos and Cutler to Bucs. That deal trumps the Chiefs’ offer easily. So why did the Pats take the Chiefs’ offer? Easy, Belichick is looking to screw everyone involved.
Ok, hear me out on this one. The Chiefs and Broncos were the two teams that actually wanted Cassell. The Lions and Buccaneers wanted Cutler. Belichick wants draft picks and his track record says that it doesn’t matter if the picks are in the first or last round. So with Belichick holding the cards, he has two options:
1) Take the 12th pick and everyone involved is happy.
2) Take the Chiefs’ offer and wait for the news about Jay Cutler to surface. That leaves the Lions, Bucs, and Broncos out in the cold. And not to mention, makes the Broncos current situation worse.
Belichick takes the 2nd option and he comes out of this with the upper hand while new Broncos’ head coach, Josh McDaniel has egg on his face. And don’t surpised if Pioli eventually gets his egg as well, because if Matt Cassell ends up being a bust, he’ll be back to square one after footing the bill for Cassell’s franchise tag tender and losing out on a costly draft pick. So once again, Belichick is somewhere looking in a mirror asking, “Who the man”? Sooner or later they’ll realize you can’t come to Belichick half steppin.