In the most anticipated move of the offseason, the Patriots traded away backup QB Matt Cassel along with Vrabel in return for a second round draft pick (No. 34 overall).
While it was almost a given that Cassel would be on the move, Vrabel's departure was a little bit surprising for some Pats fans.
It shouldn't be. One of the hallmarks to New England's success over the past decade has been that it will not let sentimental value get in the way of actual value when it comes to their roster.
Clearly, the higher ups in the organization felt that Vrabel's decline was too noticeable to ignore. Especially, with the emphasis this offseason on getting younger and deeper on defense.
Vrabel went from a career-high 12.5 sacks in 2007 to just four last season. He only recorded 62 tackles, his lowest total since 2003, and looked exceedingly slow in coming off the edge of the 3-4.
His replacement, whomever it is, may not reach the same talent level, but he'll definitely have the legs to make an impact.