It all started when former New England Patriots general manager Scott Pioli left the Patriots to become the GM of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots were shopping around backup quarterback Matt Cassel, who stepped in masterfully for the injured starting QB Tom Brady.
The teams interested in Cassel were teams with high draft picks, such as the Detroit Lions and the Chiefs. It was rumored that the Patriots were after a high draft pick.
Cassel ended up being traded to the Chiefs in late February for the 34th overall pick in the draft. The Patriots also sent one of the emotional leaders of the Patriots' defense, Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs.
The Pats then traded cornerback and return man Ellis Hobbs to the Philadelphia Eagles for two fifth round draft picks.
Then, two of the Patriots' elite defensive players, and emotional leaders, Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi, retired.
Fast forward to September. Right before the season starts, the Patriots then traded Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders for a first-round draft pick in 2011.
Now, don't you think that if the Patriots had most of the players that they lost in the off-season (not including Matt Cassel) during the 2009-2010 season, they might have done just a little bit better?
Sure many things went into the Patriots, like losing Wes Welker in Game 16. And the Pats definitely couldn't control Bruschi and Harrison's retirements. But, if Richard Seymour had been with the Patriots for the season wouldn't you think that the Pats could've done just a bit better? Would the Pats beat the Ravens?
You be the judge.