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Some franchise players still unsigned - Perspective on Cassel & Vrabel

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JoeSixPat, Apr 11, 2009.

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  1. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    ProFootballTalk.com - Still No Interest In Unsigned Franchise Players

    Seems to me that seeing how Peppers and Sproles are STILL unsigned, this gives more creedance than ever before that Belichick was wise to move quickly on unloading Cassel & Vrabel with the Chiefs for a 2nd rounder, even though waiting for Cassel to come to a long term agreement with another team might well have resulted in a 1st round pick.

    Sure, we've all seen that a pro-bowl QB already signed to a 3 year contract for low money is worth a 1st and 3rd round pick in trade. That type of player signed to that type of deal is understandably worth more than a QB with 1 year as a starter, who fairly or unfairly might still have questions since he had the benefit of playing with Welker and Moss. Add to that the fact he was signed only to a 1 year contract at nearly $15 million and one might begin to think we were LUCKY to get a 2nd for Cassel in comparison.

    Of course, the fact that Cassel signed the tender meant that the Pats could force a trade as long as the receiving team were willing to accept that one year $15 million deal.

    But given that fact, ultimately the number of teams in the NFL that:

    1. Had a need at QB
    2. Had a strong interest in Cassel and
    3. Had the cap space to accept Cassel at 1 year $15 million (and Vrabel for a total of $19 million) without otherwise impacting their ability to be active in free agency too ...

    ...probably wasn't the longest list to start.

    And while Cassel could have been traded to another team, IF both he and the team were willing to negotiate a long-term contract that was of enough guaranteed value to make it worth it to Cassel (compared to the $15 million this year and more than that next year either as a free agent or 2nd year franchise player) - that's a pretty big "IF" which could likely have taken awhile to get ironed out. (And let's not forget the "IF" of reaching an agreement not just with Cassel but also with Belichick on compensation.)

    Indeed, Peppers and Sproles are able to have the same negotiations with teams as it now stands and seemingly haven't been able to get that done.

    And what about Vrabel you ask? Why was he part of this deal?

    Well in hindsight it's clear Belichick wasn't going to bring Vrabel back at $4.3 million this season. He's good - and a contributor - but clearly didn't meet that salary value for the Patriots.

    So that means Belichick could cut him, or trade him (or attempt to renegotiate - which if that failed, we'd be back to possibly having to cut him).

    So why not cut him? You might as well as, "Why not send him to the Jets, Dolphins, Bills - or another AFC title contender?"

    Including Vrabel in the trade ensured that Vrabel wouldn't go to a rival, and may have done Vrabel the favor of sending him to the one team that could afford his full $4.3 million - likely more than he'd get as a free agent.

    So, not to belabor the point, rather than risking a drawn out salary negotiation between Cassel and other teams that, if it dragged on half as long as Peppers and Sproles situation, would have devastated the Patriots free agency plans, Belichick opted to trade Cassel and Vrabel to the one team that could take thgem both immediately, without any need for drawn out salary negotiations which could well have bogged down or ultimately prevented a trade that would have held the Patriots hostage.

    Had that happened we'd be openly and rightly critical of Belichick's serious gamble to move up a dozen or so draft spots from a sure fire quick trade for #34.

    Seems to make sense to me... though apparently not to everyone else.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  2. amazinPats

    amazinPats Rookie

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    Makes sense to me as well. Although I expected more from the trade, I think it worked out very well. BB did the best he could with the cards he had.
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah I don't understand all the doubters and whiners regarding this trade, we basically got a 1st rounder anyway at #34
  4. KDPPatsfan85

    KDPPatsfan85 Rookie

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    Also, he was a 7th round draft pick! We got a steal!
  5. Feep50

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    True, but you can't look at it just from this point of view. He was a 7th rd pick that the Patriots invested 4 years into AND was a winning starter the last year.....That changes the equation significantly. I'm not arguing it wasn't a good deal for us, but you couldn't look at Cassel as simply a 7th round pick for the #34th this year, at the point we made the trade... :cool:
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  6. fair catch fryar

    fair catch fryar Rookie

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    I agree. Call me a homer, but I just don't see how many people can sit there and scrutinize and 2nd guess BB after all he's proven. When it comes to assessing players, building a football team from top to bottom and simply winning there's not many, if any in his league. granted the guys made some and will undoubtedly make some more mistakes, but I'll trust he knows what he's doing. Hopefully, he can turn that 2nd round pick into solid starter for the defense either at LB or in the secondary it really doesn't matter.
  7. willdeespats

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    And you know that old saying is still true: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.:)

    Will D
  8. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Obviously there's some who think they're smarter than Belichick, seeing how several weeks after Cassel was traded the Broncos still got a 1st and 3rd round pick for him.

    They can't or won't admit that comparing Cassel and Cutler were apples and oranges for a whole list of reasons.

    They seem to think that if THEY were the GM, they'd at least taken Pioli's offer of #34 and spent the next several days playing one team off another to move a dozen or more points higher in the draft.

    I can't help but wonder how they'd guarantee that Pioli - who may have been the one and only team willing to take Cassel's on for his current 1 year $15 million salary cap contract as well as Vrabel's $4.3 million - wouldn't have pulled his offer had Belichick tried to finangle more from him.

    Where would that have left the Patriots? Likely waiting a week or two or even more for Cassel to complete negotiations on a long term contract with another team while our targeted free agents went elsewhere... and possibly seeing Vrabel cut to make cap space and landing with the Jets, Fins or Browns.

    ... all becaue they felt we should get a draft pick at 24 or 14 instead of 34.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  9. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    Well some use the Jay Cutler trade to use that as proof we were had in our deal, as if that had any relevance. It's too bad we have gullible ole BB running this team and not some of the master bargainers on this forum, we could really be somethin special.
  10. Deus Irae

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    BB has pointed out that he might have gotten more if he'd waited. People arguing in defense of BB are doing precisely what they are accusing those on the other side of doing.
  11. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    Not precisely, BB got what he could at the time and cleared up necessary cap space to make a play in early FA. There's no guarantee the players they wanted (and subsequently signed) would still be around if he waited so anybody complaining can't really hold it against him that he didn't.
  12. spacecrime

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    :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Your second sentence makes no sense.

    People arguing in defense of BB are doing precisely what they are accusing those on the other side of doing. :confused:

    People arguing in defense of BB are saying he got what he could given the constraints he had to work under. They are saying that he could not have waited for what MIGHT have happened.

    So we are accusing the other side of doing the same thing?

    Could you perhaps elaborate on what you mean by that?

    Your first sentence is true, if woefully incomplete. BB said he might have gotten a better deal but that no such deal was in the works. He might not have had a better deal, and the Pats could not have finalized the agreements they already had until they had some cap relief. He also said there were no better deals on the table or even in the works, that there were no other offers or even suitors when he made the deal with KC.
  13. Fencer

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    Football-wise only, Cassel was worth something less than Cutler.

    Taking contracts into account, Cassel was worth a lot less.

    BB's choice CLEARLY wasn't ridiculous. It may have been right; it may have been wrong. But it wasn't ridiculous.
  14. ThePatriotWay

    ThePatriotWay Rookie

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    We got the best possiable for Cassel at the time we made the trade its a totally diffrent story if the Cutler trade happens first and than we make the trade.
  15. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Both sides are asserting their opinions and speculations as facts, and beating a dead horse into a mushy pulp. Your post is a perfect example, since Belichick clearly could have waited: that is undeniable.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I dont think the point is that he couldn't have waited, I think its that it would have been foolhardy to wait if he wanted to participate in the FA market like he did.
    You said BB admitted he could have gotten more if he waited. Could you link me to where he said that, I think I missed it, thanks.
  17. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    WEEI interview, and claiming it would have been foolhardy is just opinion, which is part of my point.
  18. Synovia

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    Where cassel was picked is absolutely irrelevant.
  19. Synovia

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    Umm, no, he didn't. He said there were other suitors, but they came to the table too late in the process.
  20. Yehoodi

    Yehoodi Rookie

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    Exactly, its similar to if we traded Brady for a single low first round pick and then said "well gee we turned a 6th rounder into a low first rounder" True Brady had developed more than Cassel has but we can't simply look at Cassel as a 7th rounder anymore . . .

    But given the OP originals points I am contend with the trade
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  21. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I just went back and relistened to the clip and he never said he could have gotten more. Actually Glen asked him if he might have risked getting less had he waited and he said yes in terms of not being able to make the deals he did in the immediate aftermath of dealing Cassel to KC because he couldn't have done those due to cap constraints. He also reiterated several times there were no better offers to him on the table, that he had talked to the teams involved in the reported three way scenarios in the 24-48 hours preceeding and they had NO interest in trading for Cassel, and he went into detail about the difference in value between a player signed to a long term deal (which he said WE could not have done with Matt) and one on a one year franchise tender and said the only way to increase that value is to get that player signed to a longer term deal that suits all the parties and that is too complicated a scenario to expect to unfold in hours as sometimes those deals fall apart over days - especially in a rare 3 way deal with multiple moving parts. So it's pretty clear he felt he couldn't get a better deal by waiting because there was no direct interest in trading for Cassel, just some proposed what if scenarios from teams who had already passed on Matt straight up.

    I know you were in the did Scott a solid camp, but as you know he also reiterated he did no such thing as his only loyalty is to this team...

    Bill Belichick, HC, NEP on WEEI
  22. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's not exactly true either. He said there was more like what he'd characterize as speculation (what if scenarios) but there was never any solid offer on the table to him, just proposals predicated on those teams being able to land Cutler as part of a three way...
  23. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pick it up at about 9 minutes in and listen for the next minute. It's pretty clear without being specifically stated. It's also re-hashed later in the interview.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  24. MoLewisrocks

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    I think you got ear wax issues...or you're hearing things you want to hear... I just listened again and he said what I thought he said. He had no interest in waiting around to see if complicated three way scenarios (and he pointed out how few and far between those even were in his experience in the NFL) that were barely in the proposal stages might eventually work out over time while a number of FA opportunities (including re-signing some of our own) evaporated. He and Scott had a deal on Thursday, which is why Vrabel showed up in KC on Friday AM.

    In revisiting this interview I have also become convinced that it was BB who wanted Matt to sign that tender so he could get him dealt before the first weekend of FA passed and he had to cut Vrabel loose in what would have been a tough locker room sell not to mention his landing somewhere he could still do us harm in 2009. Remember Pioli's odd public response to questions about Cassel at the Combine? He hasn't signed his tender...when we all assumed that was done the day after it was extended. Obviously it hadn't been. Got done that Sunday evening and by Monday Bill was on the horn with anyone who had inquired about his availability earlier (and been told he was not yet under contract ergo unavailable). Only the response Bill then got was NO INTEREST...with the exception of Pioli.

    I have a theory about that, too. Recall the national media by and large predicting a blockbuster trade and contract for Cassel...while the local mediots who covered his career here (and wrote him off the day O'Connell was drafted) were scoffing at such hype and digging up stats like YAC by his WR's to underscore their belief he was potentially just a product of the system... It's no different that the case of BB who was painted as the dour and difficult Parcell's underling Kraft paid too much for given his performance in Cleveland whose players resented him (or would certainly grow to) and whose judgement and moral character was attacked by several presumably savvy long time local football writers right up to that second SB (and in a few cases even beyond the third...). Their inability to fully admit just how wrong they were began to give rise to questions about just what it was BB truly had to offer in Matt Cassel...

    Do you recall how bitter a pill it was for some of them to swallow when the talk of Brady as Montana began to build?? LOL In this town where some vague notion that what your fellow mediot peers think of your objectivity has always mattered more than being right or fair or genuinely insightful, it is what it is.
  25. Deus Irae

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    I'm not going to re-hash the entire thing. I stand by what I said, and I don't have any horse in this race because I'm sort of in the middle of the arguing sides. It's clear that he could have waited. It's clear that no deal was firmly there for an immediate counter, and it's clear that a lot of people here don't understand how deadlines and semi-firm deadlines impact bargaining.
  26. MoLewisrocks

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    That's just lame DI. I wish the transcripts at WEEI weren't incoherently auto-transcribed but they are...and I'm not gonna bother re-transcribing them just because you're being stubborn.
  27. Deus Irae

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    It's not lame and I'm not being stubborn. He talks about the other deals, noting that nothing firm had come to him at that point. Your claim dies at that point.

    And that's where I'll let this end, because I'm not going to argue with you about this. It's become very testy here lately, and I'm not going to get into it with a poster that I have great respect for, when it's something this unimportant. I'll save that for the usual suspects who just can't seem to resist being wrong about 99% of the time.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  28. MoLewisrocks

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    This is what you said. Andy asked you where he ever said that and you replied on WEEI. Only that is not remotely what he said on WEEI. You may have interpreted what he said to somehow indicate that. But that is not what you claimed. Sorry DI but given your propensity for factuality...

    And again, the question he was responding to was might he have gotten LESS by waiting and his response was affirmative based on losing out on the FA signings he made in the immediate aftermath for what he characterized as proposed deals (contingent on a third party being interested and choosing to get involved) that might never get worked out and were only at best only prospectively discussed with him after a firm deal with KC that ultimately involved 2 players and gave him back $18M in immediate cap flexability on the first day of FA had already been reached and mutually agreed to.

    It's not about respect, it's about consistency.
  29. JoeSixPat

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    I took Belichick's response regarding whether he could have gotten anything more for Cassel to be a rhetorical answer to a rhetorical question...

    Belichick doesn't deal in absolutes - and would never say that "No - there was no way that I could ever have gotten anything more for Cassel if I had waited"

    If people need to hear him say that they're going to wait a long time. So the common sense response to such a question after the fact is "Maybe - who knows?"

    Belichick doesn't feel a need to explain the RISKS involved in waiting, nor did anyone ask him about the risks of waiting.

    Now, a few weeks after the fact, it's becoming increasingly clear what things might look like had the Patriots risked waiting and losing out on the Chiefs offer, and I think more fans are beginning to realize why Vrabel was part of this deal as well.
  30. MoLewisrocks

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    Actually that was exactly what Ordway asked him...and what he explained starting just before the 9 minute mark in the interview. Prior to that Ordway had begun the segment simply mentioning that some people were expecting more...to which BB responded by explaining the difference between trading a player on a one year deal under a franchise tag vs. a player under contract for a longer term and more favorable cost as well as the vagaries of allowing an agent to be the conduit to a trade between two teams - something he said he would NEVER do.
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