In Belichick We Trust.
At least until he trades a former Pro Bowl linebacker and a franchised quarterback to an old friend for a second-round draft pick.
The tin foil hat crowd is out in full force.
Belichick turned down better offers and gave Cassel away to help a friend. Belichick traded Vrabel because Vrabel was a union guy and wanted the players to get a cut of Patriot Place.
Here's a few things we know about Belichick:
1) He's a shrewd negotiator when it comes to making trades.
2) He's a cold-hearted, cut-throat business man.
3) He'd trade his own son if he thought it would help the Patriots win a football game.
Why, in God's name, would we believe that he all of a sudden grew a heart and decided to help out an old friend at the expense of his current team? Why in the world would we believe that he turned down better offers and just gave Cassel and Vrabel to Kansas City in a moment of weakness?
I don't like the trade. I think the Patriots got fleeced. But I guarantee you that Belichick believes this was the best deal he could make in the time frame during which he needed to make the deal.
Maybe the Broncos were interested. Maybe they would have given up a first round pick. Maybe.
One of two things happened here. Either Belichick didn't want to give Cassel to a team he'd be competing with immediately in the AFC (face it, the Broncos are much further along than the Chiefs). Or there was no trade. The Broncos were not ready to make the deal when the deal needed to be made.
And make no mistake about it, the deal HAD to be made when it was made. The Patriots didn't even have enough room to resign James Sanders. They had to restructure Randy Moss' contract just to get Fred Taylor signed. They were HURTING. They were paralyzed by the Matt Cassel cap figure.
Was it their own fault? Yes.
Did they paint themselves into a corner? Yes.
But if you believe that Belichick has done anything this offseason for any reason other than he thought it was the best thing for the New England Patriots, then the sun reflecting off of your tin foil hat is starting to fry your brain.
This article originally appeared on the New England Patriots Examiner page. To read more articles like this one, check them out here.
He is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.