NFL: Kansas City quiet about deal
By John Marshall
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Scott Pioli pulled off a big deal in his first major act as Kansas City’s general manager, landing quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel for a second-round draft pick.
Not a package of draft picks, not the second-rounder and another player, not even with cash thrown in. A potentially franchise-building quarterback and a starting linebacker for one second-round draft pick. That’s it.
The obvious question is, how did he get so much for so little?
Sadly, there’s still no answer.
Two days after the trade with New England was announced, the Chiefs were again mum on what seems like a monumentally lopsided deal.
Pioli? Unavailable. Coach Todd Haley? Evasive. Cassel? On speaker phone for his introduction to the Kansas City media. Vrabel? Also not available.
“I won’t get into specifics of that. I’m glad we have both players on the team,” Haley said Monday.
That’s it. No discussion of how the trade came together, not even a “we got a good deal.” It was calculated, tidy, somewhat mysterious. In other words, very Patriots-like.
Of course, that’s no surprise. As vice president of player personnel in New England, Pioli helped turn the Patriots into a dynasty, gathered all the pieces for coach Bill Belichick to win three Super Bowls.
Those ties to New England clearly played some role in the trade to get Cassel and Vrabel. How much? It’s hard to tell since no one’s talking about the deal.
Cassel was talking, but not in person and not about specifics of the trade. Calling in from somewhere in Kansas City, he was thrilled at the chance to be the man after eight years of being the man behind the man.
“I’ve been working really, really hard for a long time, and I finally had an opportunity last year and got a taste of what it’s like to be out there and play and be on the field every snap,” he said. “I’m excited that I’ll have the opportunity to do the same thing here.
Cassel was reportedly part of a proposed three-team trade that would have sent him to Denver and Broncos starter Jay Cutler to Tampa Bay ó a rumor that left Cutler feeling a little sour. That deal apparently fell through, and Kansas City was the beneficiary.