King Carl, eat your heart out. Scott Pioli is quickly becoming the real king of Kansas City. Not some self-appointed king bereft of any clout away from his imaginary little kingdom either. The NFL is abuzz over Pioli right now. Actually, the NFL media might be more impressed with Pioli than Chiefs Nation is right now.
Why? Because the new king just went out and got himself a Cassel. As in quarterback Matt Cassel, and for only a second-round pick. Oh yeah, he just happened to get a 2007 Pro Bowl outside linebacker thrown into the deal, too. As if getting the young potential franchise QB Chiefs fans have waited decades for for just a second-rounder wasn’t enough. It’s sure nice to have a king who spoils his subjects for once.
In our comments there was a statement about Chiefs Nation drinking the Pioli Kool-Aid. I’m not drinking the Pioli Kool-Aid. Not at all. I’m doing a freakin’ kegstand gulping down throatfuls of Pioli Pilsner! Boy, does it taste good.
Zach and I have been on the phone just shocked.
Shocked that a deal happened? Not one bit. Zach and I called for this in our first Blueprint and Cassel has been our No. 1 quarterback target all along (And, yes, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez were options B and C for me.). In fact, I predicted this last night. Hitchcock’s calm before the storm, remember? So we weren’t surprised about the trade at all. What we were shocked about was that the Chiefs hauled in Cassel and Mike Vrabel in exchange for only the No. 34 pick. I told Zach that I thought it was our 2009 third along with our 2010 first.
Here’s what I’m thinking…
Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli discussed this back when Pioli was still with the Patriots and pondering whether to take the Chiefs job. That’s not exactly within the rules, but who can prove that a conversation like that ever happened?
I think both of them knew that Cassel was a pretty damn good player, but also wondered if any other teams would share their faith. Belichick didn’t want to lose Cassel outright via free agency or get stuck paying him almost $15 million this year — basically the same dough Tom Brady is due to earn. Pioli didn’t want to go to Kansas City without a quarterback. That’s why I believe the early negotiations of this deal happened long ago.
Now, the Patriots have freed up almost $20 M in cap room by moving Cassel and Vrabel. They can be players in free agency with that kind of cap space. Julius Peppers? Possibly. They now have the cap room and an extra second-rounder to deal. They have a lot of flexibility now, especially since they got this done 36 hours into free agency. It also looks like Tom Brady is going to be ready for day one, and I also believe the Pats are pretty high on second-year back-up Kevin O’Connell.
Did the Pats receive a little less than market value for the Cassel-Vrabel package? Yeah, for sure. But they also got a deal done quickly and with as little hassle as possible. I also think getting a second-rounder for him now does more for them than getting a pick in the late teens from the Bucs in a week or two, maybe longer. As for our No. 3 pick, I doubt the Pats even wanted it. That’s a lot of money and they probably wouldn’t have been able to trade down. Not the Pats’ style.
I also think this was a bit of a gift to Pioli for his part in delivering three rings. Why not? The Chiefs aren’t going to challenge the Pats this year. You also make sure that Cassel doesn’t come back to haunt you this year this way.
From the Chiefs’ perspective, this is a dream deal. Personally, I’m still pinching myself. Right now, I consider us the early big winners of free agency, and we haven’t even actually signed anybody yet.
I simply cannot believe that we didn’t have to unload either a first-rounder or Tony Gonzalez. We didn’t unload Larry Johnson either, but maybe The Pioli Trinity doesn’t want to. Think about it; for one second-rounder we got a leader on both sides of the ball, and both are Pro Bowl-caliber players with experience. Personally, I think draft picks are extremely overrated for the most part, so getting these two for that pick was the steal of this young century. We also need to keep in mind that Cassel will be re-signed to a long-term deal. He won’t be making $15 M this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up signing a smaller deal than Matt Stafford. Gotta love that.
How good is Cassel going to look in red throwing the ball to Dwayne Bowe and Tony G, with Branden Albert protecting his blindside? I’m visualizing it in my head right now, and, dammit, it’s effin’ beautiful. As beautiful as Beyonce mud wrestling Penelope Cruz in nothing but thongs, except even more graceful. If we can bring in an Anquan Boldin (doubtful), Michael Crabtree or T.J. Houshmandzadeh, or even a Nate Washington, this passing game is going to be a Juggernaut. Meanwhile, Tyler Thigpen was a mediocre starter, but will be a great back-up.
I have a feeling Pioli is just getting started, too. With a ton of cap room still available and the No. 3 pick, we could be looking at the greatest offseason in Chiefs’ history. This is all just the very first step in Pioli’s plan to take the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl. The new king can take us there. Hell, he already got us a Cassel. I have a feeling that he’s going to eventually get us a ring.
P.S. – Gotta love that Bernard Pollard helped the Chiefs do what Carl Peterson couldn’t do in 20 years. Or, better yet, that Pioli did in one month what Peterson couldn’t do in 20 years. Halle-****in’-lujah!