Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences. ~Norman Cousins
Norman Cousins started out as a journalist in the 1930s. He is most famous for essentially brokering a deal between the Kremlin and the White House that led to the Pinko's and the Fat Cats making a nuclear test ban-treaty.
Some even believe he saved the world as he was one of the major players that led to, ironically enough "cooler heads prevailing" during the Cold War.
So when I compare Scott Pioli to Norman Cousins, please understand there is a fair amount of hyperbole. Still the above quote by Cousins had to be part of the logical process used by Pioli that led to brokering a PHENOMENAL deal for his new employer, the Kansas City Chiefs.
"The anticipation of consequences"...just think about that for a second. What does it mean? Put yourself in the other guy's shoes and look at the reasons why they need a deal just as bad as you do. Its so simple, yet so often overlooked.
What would have happened to the Patriots if they did not trade Matt Cassel? That was the logic that Pioli used when he made a deal to get Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel for the Chiefs 2nd round pick, No. 34 overall.
Consequences IF Pats Held onto Cassel
- The Patriots had almost one-quarter of their cap space invested in 2 QB's. Was there really a chance that they would do that? I think we all knew, that the Patriots knew that they had to move Cassel.
- The defensive anchor of the Pats D is still playing on his rookie deal. By all accounts Vince Wilfork is a pretty decent guy and not a diva, with the possible exception of the occasional eye-gouge or loogie.
In a recent interview, Vince said regarding his looming contract expiration/potential extension "I don't care if nothing moves, I just wanted to communicate." Proper linguistics aside Vince had a point, and we all know that the Pats knew this as well.
Could the Pats risk pulling a Tennessee and let this guy hit the market? Not going to happen, we all knew this.
- For the record, I love Matt Cassel. I thought he did a great job considering the following:
1) Its been beaten into the ground worse than "Hey did you know Jerome Bettis is from Detroit?", still its impressive that Cassel has not played in a meaningful game since high school.
2) The Patriots defense was BAD last year.
3) He had to fill Tom Brady's shoes. Can you even imagine the pressure that goes along with this?
That would be like meeting a gorgeous girl, having a drink with her and thinking everything is going pretty well.
You take her home and just before you hop in the sack she tells you that her old boyfriend is Peter North. Ummm what? Yeah tell me that would not effect your performance.
All that being said, Matt still only did it for one year. When the Pats took O'Connell in last years draft they were announcing that they were expecting to lose Cassel and get nothing in return.
So we know the Pats are essentially playing with house money at this point, and anything they get in return for Cassel is gravy.
So when you take all of this information into account, you see that the Patriots did need to move Cassel. This was a move that they had to make.
I already can here the jeers that Pioli pulled one over on Belicheck. Not true. Both teams win with this deal.
Could the Pats have gotten the Lions, Bucs or the Vikings 1st round pick? Probably, but then they also would have probably had to either cut or re-do the Vrabel contract. Lets be real here, the Pats did not want to have to broach that topic.
So by taking a slightly lower pick, the Pats still get a top 35 pick, a cheaper contract or more ammo to make draft day moves and they get to avoid the inevitable "Hey Vrabel, Coach wants to see you in his office."
The other thing that the media will probably suggest is that this move was only possible because of the Pioli-Patriots relationship. There probably is some truth to this, but really was any of this information not available? Did we all not already know that;
- The Pats had very little cap room and both Vince and the Pats know that they need to lock Vince up.
- The Pats were not going to spend 25 percent of their cap on QB's.
- Prior to the season, the Pats had all but given up on Cassel, so any return for them would be deemed reasonable.
- The Patriots do not like the high draft picks, they always trade down. So any idea that they were going to try and get a top 10 pick for Cassel is foolish.
Really? We couldn't go and get this guy? Really, we could have given up a 2 and maybe a 4 to sweeten the deal and had Cassel?
No instead we are going into the season with Culpepper, Rosenfels, Orton, Delhomme, and McCown over this guy? I think Jared Allen and AP are already egging ol' Chilly's house as we speak.
So Kudos to you Scott Pioli, you made a brilliant move and just VASTLY improved your team and didn't sell the farm to do it. So you didn't save the world, I would argue that you just saved Kansas City. Hey, we all have to start somewhere.