New England Patriots fans who watched Mike Vrabel play during the prime years of his career know that his intensity is what made him such an effective defender. Vrabel was one of the leaders of some Super Bowl-caliber defenses under Bill Belichick. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet in those days.
Save this picture, because it’s one of the few times you’re going to see Tom Brady in Ohio State gear.
The former Michigan quarterback apparently lost a bet with his former Patriots teammate over last weekend’s Michigan-Ohio State game and had to wear the Mike Vrabel Buckeyes jersey you see above during a recent practice.
“As promised #buckeyenation. A bet is a bet” Vrabel wrote on Twitter.
Ohio State beat Michigan 26-21 to remain perfect on the season, improving to 12-0. Brady isn’t the only Michigan player to lose a bet on the game with an Ohio State teammate. Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely paid off his lost bet with running back Beanie Wells by wearing an Ohio State hat and shirt:
Kansas Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel was arrested on charges of felony theft early Monday morning at Belterra Casino in Florence, Indiana. Pro Football Talk first reported the news which has been confirmed by LBS, and they write that “the charge, under Indiana law, is a Class-D felony.”
Switzerland County Jail in Indiana did not have details regarding the arrest and LBS has reached out to the Indiana Gaming Commission for more information. We do know that Vrabel was released on a $600 cash bond.
We’ll have more information when it becomes available, but we know we’re not alone in saying of all people who could have gotten into trouble over the NFL off-season, Mike Vrabel was one of the names we would least expect. Keep up with LBS on twitter for more updates. Between this incident and Louis Murphy’s arrest, it’s been a bad weekend for NFL players.
UPDATE: Vrabel, through his agent, says it was a misunderstanding.
UPDATE II: KMBC in KC says, “The incident involved bottles of alcohol taken from a casino eatery. Indiana Gaming Commission Director of Enforcement Kenny Rowan said Vrabel was observed by an enforcement agent taking the bottles of alcohol from a deli without paying for them. He said Vrabel was very cooperative during the investigation and posed no problems during the arrest.”
If that is indeed what led to the arrest, then Vrabel really did get a bad deal and the law in Indiana should be modified.
UPDATE III: Rowan spoke with LBS and confirmed that the theft was over eight bottles of beer. He had no further knowledge if Vrabel was intoxicated and if that played a role in the theft.
One of the things that made Mike Vrabel’s time in New England so special was his ability to have an influence on offense when the Patriots got into their goal line sets. The linebacker caught eight regular season touchdown passes throughout his tenure for the Patriots. He also caught two huge touchdowns in Super Bowl play.
The Kansas City Chiefs put together a 15-play drive against the Houston Texans to begin their game on Sunday and the drive was capped off by none other than Vrabel. Big No. 50 reeled in his first touchdown pass of the season and is part of the reason the Chiefs currently lead the Texans 14-7 on the road in the second half. Video of the play can be seen here.
We can probably expect more of this in the future with Charlie Weis calling the plays on offense for the Chiefs. Weis, of course, was the offensive coordinator throughout New England’s Super Bowl years and loved drawing up plays for Vrabel around the goal line. Meanwhile, Kansas City is looking to once again prove it’s for real against a quality Houston offense in Texas.
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.