We have heard from the Kansas City Chiefs in regards to the signing of Matt Cassel and have even been given a statement from Cassel himself. But what about the folks in New England that watched Cassel step in for the injured Tom Brady last season? Eric Ortiz from NESN.com thinks Cassel earned his 2,000% raise.
Cassel is rich in more than spirit these days — $28 million of his new deal is guaranteed. To quote Robert DeNiro at the end of Midnight Run, that’s a very respectable neighborhood. And not too many NFL signal-callers get to call such a zip code home.
All it took was one Tom Brady blown knee to get an opportunity. But producing enough to never have to worry about money again in his life was all Cassel’s doing. He is the one who stepped up and led the Patriots to an 11-5 record in 2008.
Some might say his success was blind luck, a mere byproduct of running an offense in a Bill Belichick system. Naysayers will rant and rave that anyone with a pulse and the ability to throw a spiral 15 yards could do what Cassel did. But that’s like saying there are only a few steps to solving an advanced calculus equation.
Is Kansas City taking a risk by locking up somebody long term who has only produced for one season? Sure. But so is stepping onto an airplane or crossing the street.
Matt Cassel deserves to be getting paid. He was thrown into the crucible and didn’t flinch. The Chiefs are making an educated guess based on 16 games worth of performance and projection. Not so long ago, the Patriots did the same thing with a guy named Brady.
Cassel is a better natural athlete than Brady, and the new millionaire, at 27, hasn’t even entered the prime of his playing days. Cassel won’t have the same complementary parts with the Chiefs as he did with the Pats, but Scott Pioli — who played a big role in building a Super Bowl champion in Foxborough — is doing everything in his power to change that.
It’s good to see someone from New England speak out in favor of Cassel getting paid. I don’t know that I would call Cassel a better athlete than Brady, but all in all Ortiz makes some great points. Say what you want about the number of times Cassel was sacked last season or how he benefited from playing in Bill Belichick’s system, all you have to do is listen to Scott Pioli’s father-in-law: “You are what your record says you are.” Matt Cassel is 11-5 and virtually any other season would have led his team to the playoffs. Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft, is 0-0 in the NFL but was awarded almost $14 million more than Cassel in guaranteed money. If Detroit (or the Jets for that matter) offered to trade their rookie quarterback for Cassel I would tell them to get lost.