The Chiefs, Broncos and Patriots have played a season and a half worth of games since Matt Cassel was traded from New England to Kansas City with Denver’s involvement forcing a separate trade of Jay Cutler.
With all draft picks included being selected, Kent Babb takes a look at what each team has to show for the trade.
Cassel is the Chiefs’ starter, but he is polarizing in Kansas City. He doesn’t make enough mistakes for the team to look toward someone else, but he makes enough that many fans are unsatisfied. Vrabel is 35 years old, and his value now is more as an influential teammate and locker-room leader than a big-play defender.
The Patriots turned Kansas City’s draft pick into safety Patrick Chung, a starter but perhaps a player who will never be a star. And Denver has had some success with Orton, but it hasn’t cashed in on the draft picks it received from Chicago. First-rounder Robert Ayers still isn’t healthy at linebacker, they gave up on cornerback Alphonso Smith, and they dealt the thi
rd-round choice to Pittsburgh, which used it to nab starting wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Even Chicago did better in the draft, using the fifth-round selection on Pro Bowl receiver Johnny Knox.
There certainly aren’t many more polarizing players in Kansas City right now than Cassel but I have a hard time finding a negative in the trade. Sure, the Chiefs could have won 4 games with Brodie Croyle last season and maybe Cassel isn’t the quarterback of the future for this team. But in Cassel and Vrabel Todd Haley and Scott Pioli were able to install two players that completely embody “The Right 53” on and off the field.
If Kansas City passed on the trade, then what were their options at QB? They’ve tried Croyle more than once already and as much fun as Tyler Thigpen was to watch it was clear he wasn’t a fit for Haley.
The only team that seems to have lost out here is the Broncos. Orton has been prolific while Cutler struggles in Chicago, though Denver has a Tim Tebow problem. Clearly seeing Orton as nothing more than a place holder, McDaniels took Tebow in the first round and will have to get him on the field at some point to prove it was the right decision. At the same time, how do you pull a guy like Orton that is only 27 and flinging the ball all over the field.
No matter what side of the fence you are on when it comes to Cassel, it’s hard to view the Chiefs as the losers in this love triangle.