View Full Version : Trading Matt Cassel?

02-23-2009, 01:09 PM

With $14.65 million in cap space devoted to a backup quarterback and a starting quarterback who claims he'll be ready to return from a major knee injury in 2009, the New England Patriots are in a bind.

The conventional thinking is that, whether he leaves via trade or signs a longer-term deal to become the Steve Young to Tom Brady's Joe Montana, Matt Cassel won't be playing this season under that one-year cap-killing contract.

But trading Cassel won't be as easy as it looks. For starters, the team that acquires Cassel's rights will have to be willing to give him the kind of big-money contract that he and his agents deem appropriate.

Even then, it might be difficult to work out an arrangement. Here are the primary options, and the problems associated with each one.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

The easiest and cleanest transaction would involve sending Cassel to the man who drafted him, former Pats Vice President of Player Personnel and current Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli.

Easier said than done.

With both sides of the transaction fearful of the external perception that one of them was snookered (and with each side surely hoping to snooker the other), it'll be virtually impossible to forge an agreement with which everyone feels comfortable.

Here's the other problem -- the Chiefs hold the third overall pick in the draft, and the huge contractual commitment that goes along with using it. The Patriots would surely prefer not to step into those shoes, unless they believe that there's a must-have guy at the top of the draft, and that he'll still be there after the first two picks are used.

So, in reality, Cassel has a better chance of becoming the starter at USC than he does in Kansas City.

2. Minnesota Vikings

The team with the best running back in the league has been struggling to find a quarterback who can take advantage of the attention devoted to plugging the rush lanes.

So with Vikings' fans adopting an "anyone but the guys we have" approach to the 2009 offseason, Cassel is one of the names for which they're clamoring.

But there's a catch. In 2007, Vikings coach Brad Childress took aim at Pats coach Bill Belichick, publicly calling Belichick out for trying to persuade the Vikings not to make a waivers claim on tight end Garrett Mills, whom the Pats were planning to cut prior to the start of the regular season.

Belichick has a long memory, and those words from Childress from less than two years ago could be enough to keep these two sides from coming together on a deal for Cassel's rights.

3. New York Jets

The Jets need a quarterback, badly. But there's too much bad blood between these two franchises to ever agree on anything.

In fact, it's entirely possible that the Patriots slapped the franchise tag on Cassel on the first day of the period for doing so in order to place the Jets on notice that the Patriots had every intention of retaining his rights, blocking any effort by the Jets to entice Cassel's agents with contractual terms that New York might offer during the inevitable period of tampering that precedes the official opening of the free-agent signing period.

Bottom line -- Cassel has an even smaller chance of playing for the Jets than playing for the Chiefs.

4. Washington Redskins

Though they currently have former first-rounder Jason Campbell under contract for another season, the Redskins are always anxious to make a big splash and are never afraid to cough up draft picks.

Ten years ago, the Skins surrendered a first-round pick, a second-round pick, and a third-round pick for quarterback Brad Johnson, a career journeyman who had been a starter for less than two seasons, and who had real durability questions.

Today, most teams regard draft picks with greater value. The Redskins don't; they were ready to give up a first-round pick and possibly a second one last year for Chad Johnson. So if they decide to make a run at Cassel, they'll likely be the ones to land him.

5. Detroit Lions

With the first pick in the draft, the Lions could take one of the top two quarterback prospects, Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez; History tells us that there's a 50-50 chance at best that either guy will play effectively at the NFL level.

So why not use that pick in order to get a guy who already has shown he can play effectively at the professional level?

And since the Lions hold a second first-round pick at the 20th overall slot, the Lions could dangle that pick and maybe one of their two third-round picks in order to finagle Cassel.

Of course, the Lions would have to be willing to risk landing another Scott Mitchell, who parlayed his playing time after Dan Marino popped an Achilles' tendon into a big-money deal in Detroit. Though Mitchell did a decent job, this franchise needs something much more than another Scott Mitchell.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With a load of cap space and a fan base that likely is feeling uneasy about the presence of a 32-year-old head coach and an unproven general manager, the Bucs could go a long way toward building positive vibes by addressing the hole at their quarterback position with Cassel.

Even with Luke McCown signed to a surprisingly rich deal, it's not starter money. And McCown won't do anything to help sell tickets in a down economy.

New offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski witnessed the buzz that Cassel created last year, given that Jagodzinski was the head coach at Boston College. So, at a minimum, it's a move the Bucs need to seriously consider.

02-23-2009, 04:02 PM
i agree i hope this puts them in cap hell for a decade!:tt03:

02-23-2009, 08:13 PM
The Pats* probably won't trade Cassel until they know Brokeback Brady is 100% and that won't happen until training camp. If Pretty Boy is good to go there will be teams willing to take Cassel either as a long term starter or as a one-year mentor for a younger quarterback.

Tampa or Minnesota would be the best bet since they can draft a QB for the future but are also contenders in 2009 which makes the one-year, $14M deal worth it.

Galax Steeler
02-24-2009, 03:54 AM
I hope they don't find no takers on him and it comes back to bight them as ddf said I hope it blows there cap all to pieces.

02-24-2009, 09:38 AM
Trading him NOW is the smartest thing possible. Let the stupid team who accepts the trade discover he's just Derek Anderson II

02-24-2009, 09:43 AM
i think it will be hard to trade for cassell.. he has such a huge cap hit that no team would want part of for just 1 yr..