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Tribal Warfare
02-28-2009, 01:53 PM
Chiefs Make Deal With Patriots for Cassel (http://www.bobgretz.com/chiefs-football/chiefs-make-deal-with-patriots-for-cassel.html)
February 28, 2009 - Bob Gretz |

The Chiefs have sent their second-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft to the New England Patriots for quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel.

The deal was finalized Saturday morning.

“I have a long history with both players,” said Chiefs GM Scott Pioli in a team statement. “Mike and Matt are men that I respect both personally and professionally. I look forward to having them as new members of the Chiefs family.”

The Vrabel end of the deal was known Friday, when the linebacker flew to Kansas City to undergo a physical exam.

The Cassel end was speculated on for days, but became public Saturday at lunch time.

To get those two Patriots, the Chiefs give up pick No. 34 in the April draft.

In a statement released by the Patriots, head coach Bill Belichick sang Cassel’s praises.

“It is very easy to root for guys like Matt Cassel, who do everything the right way and flourish as a result,” Belichick said. “As much as we would have loved to continue working with Matt, we wish him nothing but the best as he takes this next step forward in his career.”

New England had made Cassel its franchise player and when the quarterback signed the tender offer, the team was on the line for $14.65 million dollars. More than likely, the move to acquire Cassel includes a longer term contract than just the one-year franchise number. While the Chiefs certainly have enough room to absorb more than $14 million under the salary cap, they would prefer to have a smaller number.

Originally a seventh-round choice of the Patriots in the 2005 NFL Draft, in his first four seasons Cassel had done only mop up work as the backup to Tom Brady, appearing in 14 games.

But when Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard knocked Brady out in the first half of the ‘08 season opener in Foxboro with multiple knee injuries, Cassel became the team’s starting quarterback. He led this team that day in the second half to a 17-10 victory.

Cassel went on to complete 327 of 516 passes for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on the season, finishing with a 89.4 passer rating. The Patriots went 10-5 in his 15 starts and 11-5 on the season, but missed the playoffs.

His career numbers are now 349 of 555 for 3,946 yards, 23 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Cassel will be 27 years old in May and is a native of Northridge, California. He attended Southern Cal, where he was the backup quarterback to both Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.

There’s no question Cassel becomes the team’s starting quarterback for the 2009 season. Tyler Thigpen, Brodie Croyle and Quinn Gray and possibly others will fight it out for the two backup quarterback spots.

In the release from the Patriots, Belichick practically gushed about Vrabel.

“When Mike arrived in 2001, we knew we were adding a solid outside linebacker,” Belichick said. “But where Mike took it from there exceeded our highest hopes. Mike Vrabel epitomizes everything a coach could seek in a professional football player: toughness, intelligence, playmaking, leadership, versatility, and consistency at the highest level. Behind the scenes, Mike’s wit and personality is one of the things we have all enjoyed about coming to work every day.

“The toughest aspect of my job is the day I stop coaching people like Mike, who did everything in his power to contribute to team success. Of all the players I have coached in my career, there is nobody I enjoyed working with more than Mike In the same way people recognize guys like Troy Brown, we appreciate and thank Mike Vrabel. He is one of the very special Patriots champions.”

Bowser
02-28-2009, 01:54 PM
Someone neg rep Gretz for the repost.

Bowser
02-28-2009, 01:55 PM
Cassel owes Bernard Pollard a brand new Benz.