A Disturbing New NFL Trend: Insider Trading

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer IApril 25, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 21:  Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs downfield during the game against the Miami Dolphins on December 21, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Pats, Falcons, and Chiefs Have Cottage Industry Going

You would think with all of the fiscal shenanigans we've seen over the past years or so that no one would even attempt any moves that would appear inappropriate.

Think again.  In the cover of light, the New England Patriots and their two new "satellite" operations—the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons—are conducting business in such fashion that should draw a legion of red flags. What these three teams are doing can only be considered to be collusionary conduct.

Take it from me, I have been around the block a few times in my long career in the financial industry.  I have seen ponzi schemes, stock scams, junk bond improprieties, and yes—insider trading.  The latter is what is happening here.

The origin of this mess comes directly from the offices of the New England Patriots (surprise), and normally I wouldn't care. But I have been trained to spot red flags, and I am seeing them waving brightly in the sunlight in this case. 

Thomas Dimitroff is the general manager of the Atlanta Falcons. He has long relationships with both Kansas City GM, Scott Pioli, and New England coach Bill Belichick that go back to when all three were employed by the Cleveland Browns.  Since then, the three have gone their separate ways, but it appears their business relationship is still intact.

The NFL doesn't seem to mind, and fans may not know what to think when they see a Tony Gonzalez go from "untouchable" status in Kansas City to the Atlanta Falcons' roster for practically nothing. It wouldn't surprise me if that 2010 second round pick the Chiefs got in return for Gonzalez somehow ends up in New England.

Both the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants were heavily in the mix for Gonzalez—or so we thought.  Both teams have loads of draft picks and players to offer the Chiefs, but yet no trade was made.  The Falcons offer a future pick to Kansas City and a deal is struck. Go figure. Am I nuts, or does this seem a little fishy?

When Matt Cassel was traded from New England to Kansas City, many were shocked. Really?  That he was traded, or traded to Kansas City?  I wasn't.  Pioli needed a QB in KC, and the Patriots were not about to pay Matt Cassel $14 million. 

The deal left many teams feeling shunned.  The Denver Broncos, whose new head coach (Josh McDaniels) comes from the Patriots' coaching tree, thought they had a legitimate shot at landing Cassel in a three-way deal that would have included Jay Cutler being moved to Tampa. He should have known better.

It will be interesting to see how these three teams interact as time goes on.  I have seen the red flags, and now I urge you to follow them.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.