First off, if you haven’t put in your nominations, do that now. You’re the Academy, people, and it’s a serious responsibility.
Alright, moving on to football matters. The Patriots said goodbye to Mike Vrabel and Matt Cassel, shipping them off to Kansas City for a second round pick. At first blush, it appeared as if the Pats somehow fleeced new KC Bürgermeister Scott Pioli into giving the 34th pick for a 35 year old man who can, at this point, only sort of run and tackle. But then Cassel was revealed to be part of the deal and the response from Boston (“Our team is run by fools! Fools!”) was not entirely positive.
That’s why I’m here. To tell you that it was for both parties. The NFL is not like fantasy football. You can’t hoodwink other teams in the NFL with the ease that you can hoodwink some fantasy greenhorn in his first season. Especially when you’re dealing with a guy (Pioli) who knows everything about you and you know everything about. The Patriots dumped a heck of a lot of salary and got an incredibly valuable early second round pick. The Chiefs acquired a guy who can throw a football and another guy who has played long enough to be another coach in the locker room. That’s a net win for both teams. The Patriots don’t make their living on getting early first round picks, like the Chief’s third overall that some fans up here were salivating over. Unless you were lucky enough to acquire Matt Ryan (let’s go Eagles… errrr Falcons), you’re overpaying for people who haven’t played a down of pro football. The Pats don’t build their teams around early 1st round big guns – rather, they make sure every position is filled with guys that can hurt you. If you’ve noticed, they won a bunch of Super Bowls doing this.
The Patriots are picking 23rd, 34th, 47th, and 58th. Four of the top 60 picks. I’d rather have that than a 3rd overall, since you’d be paying the same amount of money for those four players than you would be for that single theoretical superplayer. The Pats will always take the warm bodies, as opposed to the one hot one. And, given the system that they work under, everyone gets really good at doing what they’re supposed to.
Look forward to the draft, Foxboro Faithful. And look forward to a better year overall, Kansas City.