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Patriots trade Cassel and Vrabel to Chiefs for second round pick

Scott Pioli is quickly turning the Kansas City Chiefs into the Patriots of the AFC West after he was able to acquire quarterback Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel from New England in exchange for a second round pick (No. 34 overall).

NFL.com’s Adam Schefter, who first reported the story, claims that the two teams have agreed on the compensation, but details are not yet available. Rotoworld.com, however, confirms that the compensation for Cassel and Vrabel is a second round pick, which seems incredibly light for a starting quarterback and linebacker.

Did Bill Belichick do his old buddy Pioli a favor by only letting Cassel go for only a second rounder? Did Pioli have incriminating photos of New England front office members and was set to release them unless they agreed to trade Cassel for as little as possible? How they hell could the Pats only get a second rounder for Cassel and Vrabel?

Three years ago, the Falcons traded backup quarterback Matt Schaub to the Texans for two second round picks and the teams also swapped first rounders (Atlanta got the 8th overall pick, while Houston got the 10th). How did the Falcons get two second round picks and jump up two spots in the first round for Schaub, yet the Patriots were only able to muster a second rounder from the Chiefs for Cassel, who is coming off a full season as a starter?

Obviously New England was petrified of having Cassel’s cap number on their books for the 2009 season and decided to jump when KC offered up a second round pick. Vrabel only saves the Pats $3 million in cap space, so it’s still unclear why he was part of the deal, although maybe this is where the aforementioned favor comes in. Vrabel was set to take a lesser role next year in New England, but in KC, he’ll be a starter and a mentor in the Chiefs’ new 3-4 defensive front.

This was a nice move by the Chiefs. Cassel already has a season under his belt as a starter and now gets to work in a pass-happy situation in KC under new head coach Todd Haley. He also has Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez (if he’s not traded) to throw to, as well as Larry Johnson (if he stops bitching about wanting to be traded) to take some pressure off him in the offense. The Chiefs still have to sign Cassel to a long-term deal, but their questions at quarterback have finally been answered.

As for the Patriots, they’ll clear a ton of cap space off their books, but it’s shocking how little they received for Cassel in the end. He may never pan out in Kansas City, but his value had to be more than a second rounder, right?

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