I think it’s been pretty firmly established that the Patriots, especially under Bill Belichick, are one of the shrewdest organizations in the NFL. They’ve been known to pull off great deals and bring players in for below market value. Keeping in mind that their GM Scott Pioli left for Kansas City and that he could have been the “brains” behind many intelligent moves, how is it that the Chiefs only gave up the 34th overall pick in the draft to acquire QB Matt Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel? I’ve been searching and searching for the answer and I’ve heard many possible responses, most of which sounded bogus. For instance, I’m not buying that the Patriots value an early second round pick more than they do a mid-first round pick. Something more plausible is that Vrabel actually brought down the value of the trade and that the Pats were just looking to dump his salary.
Maybe the best explanation for what appears to be a fleecing by the Chiefs, especially now that we’ve heard the Bucs and Broncos were working on a three-way deal that would have sent the Pats a 1st and 3rd round pick, is that Belichick already had a deal in place with Pioli before anyone else stepped up. Peter King at SI says nobody offered a first-round pick for Cassel this offseason, so Belichick in turn asked for an early second from KC and received it. It wasn’t until after that point that the other teams came calling with their more appealing packages. Also, because Cassel was only signed through the upcoming season, teams could have been afraid to give away too much for someone they might only have one season which also makes sense. Well, I’m going to trust for the moment that this was a fair deal. If someone has any better ideas as to what’s going on here, I’m all ears.