Putting your ego aside for the sake of the team. No, Belichick is not one to get snookered... in fact, he is one of the smartest football minds in history, from both a coaching and GM standpoint. When you consider that the Cassel situation has been a top priority for the team since the season ended, and likely weeks or months were devoted to finding and developing a market for a franchise quarterback, there is little doubt in my mind that (a) Belichick got the best trade possible for the team, and (b) Belichick knew that media and national opinion would completely grill him for his decision. You can be certain that many GMs would not have made this trade, not because of a difference of opinion, but because they are afraid of the second guessing out there. Furthermore, and this also hasn't been addressed by the media. If you hold on to Cassel you are devaluing him automatically, because teams that are ready to trade do not want to wait until training camp or even the draft to begin intitiating him to their team. My estimation is that, had they held on to Matt, his value would have gradually shrunk as teams would have begun building around their appointed QB (See Favre, Brett, and Rodgers, Aaron.) It also astounds me that no one out there connects McDaniels and Pioli and wonders if THEY were trying to help out BB just as much as vice versa. We're talking about a quarterback whose production dropped last season from Brady's 2007 (50 TDs to 21 TDs!) who plays in the most quarterback friendly system in the league currently. We're also talking about a lot of money, and no long term investment. All of the other players in this speculation were looking for Cutler, besides Denver and KC, two systems that will be designed around the Patriots' offense. In other words, THERE WAS VERY LITTLE INTEREST OUTSIDE OF BELICHICK'S FORMER CREW. Again, you could point to Pioli and wonder whether he would have made the same trade in a similar situation, for an experiment. Also, I'm tired of hearing that this is a second round pick... suppose they trade with the Steelers and get #32 rather than #34; is this suddenly a coup for the Patriots? The real deal on the Cassel trade: Matt likely does not want to sign a long-term contract, not does any team want to invest a ton of money in him right now. The trade was not for Matt Cassel; it was for one-year of Matt Cassel's services, which will result in an extension only after his success and comfort for his new team has been evaluated.