BOSTON - The New England Patriots on Saturday reached an agreement to trade quarterback Matt Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Boston Globe confirmed the trade, although no details were available of what New England would get in return.
Cassel, who was designated as the Patriots' franchise player earlier this month, is guaranteed $14.65 million.
New Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, the former Patriots' personnel director, engineered the deal with New England - the second between the clubs in as many days.
Cassel is coming off an outstanding season for the Patriots after stepping in for incumbent starter Tom Brady, who was lost for the year with a knee injury in the season opener.
In his first season as a starter since high school, Cassel completed over 63 percent of his passes for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions after taking over for Brady.
Cassel played superbly down the stretch, throwing eight TDs and just one interception as New England won its final four games to finish with an 11-5 record.
Quarterback was a major trouble spot for the Chiefs, who started three quarterbacks during a franchise-worst 2-14 campaign.
Tyler Thigpen got the bulk of the starts in the second half and played decently, but the Chiefs lost six of their last 10 games by seven points or fewer.
On Friday, the Patriots traded veteran linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs for an undisclosed draft choice.
The New England Patriots sent Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs for the 34th overall selection in this year's draft, compensation that seemed a little weak on the surface.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen has since reported there was a much better offer on the table, that the Patriots passed on the 12th overall pick in a three-way trade that would've sent Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Patriots did business with Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who for the previous nine years worked closely with Bill Belichick in the Patriots' front office. It must be noted new Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels was Belichick's offensive coordinator in New England.
Mort and I have exchanged a few e-mails on the subject. Here is how he broke down the proposed three-way deal:
This one defies logic, but a source I really trust tells me it's true: The Broncos were willing to offer their own first-round pick (12th overall) to the Patriots for Cassel. Obviously, it was conditional upon Cutler being traded and Tampa Bay was the most likely destination, the Bucs willing to part with their first- and third-round picks.
But Belichick never embraced a trade with the Broncos, even though it was a head-scratcher on the value part (second-rounder versus a first-rounder). It suggests two or three speculative thoughts:
Belichick has always valued second-round picks (he now has three) and didn't want to be stuck at No. 12 financially for whatever reason;
Belichick had an agreement with Pioli all along and wouldn't break his word;
Belichick isn't about to help another former assistant.
The Broncos sensed resistance all along, which is why they held the Bucs, Lions, Vikings, etc., at arm's length and allows McDaniels his plausible deniability on trading Cutler (and logic supports his denial).
However, despite intense efforts to keep this run at Cassel under wraps, enough damage has been done that Cutler may now be on the block.
The Broncos/Cutler aspect of the trade was reported by the Boston Globe. A Patriots' leak? Why? To mess with McDaniels?
Mort is correct. The information is astounding.
Several citizens of Patriot Nation have written into my AFC East mailbag and left notes in the comments section that Belichick didn't want a first-round pick for Cassel, that a second-rounder is more financially palatable.
Ridiculous, I say. The Patriots had the No. 10 pick last year and were highly successful with it, selecting defensive rookie of the year Jerod Mayo, a franchise player who could anchor their defense for the next decade.
The No. 12 pick is a commodity. The Patriots might've traded it for additional picks, dangling it on draft day to a team that has the hots for, say, quarterback Mark Sanchez, and doesn't want him to get away.
Mort left me with one last thought:
It is also interesting that Pioli made the trade without doing a deal with Cassel. This puts a lot of leverage on Cassel's side going forward. Then again, Pioli probably sensed Cassel would have preferred McDaniels and the Broncos for all the obvious reasons, which may have influenced negotiations in Cassel's favor anyway. AFC West rivalry revived here.
the broncos organization got caught with it's pants down with a rookie coach and GM. How the hell you could even consider a scenario where you give up cutler and get cassel plus a lower first round pick is beyond me. cutler is a better quarterback statistically and physically and in essence trading down in the draft to get a lesser qb is retarded.
Originally Posted by LAM
Sheep get their news from the media, I get my news from Facebook. That's where the real unbiased news is found. any everyone from IM that is friends with me on FB knows this.
The writers who have come out and blasted Belichick calling it "Spygate II" really have no place in the industry.
When Julius Peppers signs on the dotted line (or a player of his caliber, Ray Lewis?) these assclowns will truly be made a mockery of.
If the Patriots had taken the 12th overall pick, the money given to a player drafted that high would make a free agent acquisition such as Peppers or Lewis impossible.
Instead, the Patriots were able to dump Mike Vrabel and his $3 million dollar cap hit without cutting him, Cassel' $14 million is now also off the books, we have three 2nd round draft picks (which as anybody who knows the Patriots, Belichick values the most).
There's really not much else to say. That article that Min0 posted is pure bullshit.