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Patriots trade Cassell

One day after trading linebacker Mike Vrabel to Kansas City, New England dealt quarterback Matt Cassell to the Chiefs. Trading Cassell wasn't a shocker given his $14.65 million franchise tag. But the real stunner is Chiefs GM Scott Pioli only had to give his former team just a second-round draft pick (34th overall) -- for BOTH players (Vrabel probably was a throw-in, since he's a fading player).

Can you say steal?

It was believed the Chiefs were going to use their third overall pick on a quarterback (either Georgia's Matt Stafford or USC's Mark Sanchez). Cassell is better than both and is coming off a Pro Bowl-caliber season. Now the Chiefs can use the third pick on the best player available (linebacker Aaron Curry or Baylor left tackle Jason Smith).

The Pats weren't completely robbed. They now have a third second-round pick in addition to their own first-rounder (No. 23). That gives them four of the top 58 picks. Don't be surprised if the Pats package some of those picks to move up in the draft. Just as important, trading Cassell gives the Pats a lot more money to spend in free agency.

So if Tom Brady returns to form after knee surgery as expected, the Pats will make out pretty good in this deal.

---Allen Wilson


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