With this trade, the Chiefs solidified the quarterback position, and added a much-needed veteran presence in the linebacking corps. What does this mean for the free agent season and the upcoming draft?
Pre-Cassel, I would have said to take the best quarterback available at No. 3, but now with Cassel in tow, the Chiefs can look to build in other areas.
A nice fit at No. 3 is Aaron Curry, an inside linebacker out of Wake Forest. In his senior season, he earned the Dick Butkus Award after his 101 tackle, 2.5 sack season.
Granted, the lack of sacks is disturbing for the 6'3", 246-pounder, but he possesses the ability to rush the passer and has excellent pass coverage ability.
He's enough of a threat, even as a rookie, to draw more than one offensive blocker, which should free up some room for middle linebacker Derrick Johnson and the aforementioned Vrabel.
A linebacking crew with Curry, Johnson and Vrabel sounds pretty good.
Another option would be to select Michael Crabtree with the third pick. Selecting Crabtree would provide a viable second option behind Dwayne Bowe for Cassel, and free up Tony Gonzalez a bit more on passing situations.
It would be a similiar setup to the one Haley had as offensive coordinator in Arizona with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquain Boldin.
With both Jevon Kearse and Albert Hayensworth off the table, the Chiefs should probably go with defense in the April draft.
Building up the defense while building around Matt Cassel will make the Chiefs markedly better in the 2009 season and beyond.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Chiefs are at least a playoff contender by 2010 with Cassel under center, a Curry-Johnson-Vrabel trio at linebacker, and a little bit of luck.