Perhaps Matt Cassel should consider pouring one out tonight for teammate Bernard Pollard. If not for the Chiefs safety, Cassel may not be joining the millionaires club. Of course, it was Pollard who altered any plans of New England getting back to the Super Bowl last September when he crashed into the leg of Tom Brady.
If not for that moment, maybe just maybe Cassel would not be in a position to sign a six-year, $60 million deal. While I certainly casted a suspicious eye when the Packers bent over backwards last season to give Aaron Rodgers a new deal without at least taking a significant peak at him from game to game, this is a bit more concerning.
After all, prior to helping the Patriots post an 11-5 in 2008, his last start came in high school. Entering 2009, he is not armed with Randy Moss and Wes Welker; instead, an emerging Dwayne Bowe and Mark Bradley will catch passes from Cassel.
Besides the questionable move of giving him $28 million guaranteed (!!!), the Chiefs must hope that their running game returns to prominence to take a shred of pressure off of Cassel’s shoulders. Plus, he is a quarterback that is still developing. He was sacked a league-high 47 times last season and has to do a better job of getting rid of the ball.
Another issue to track is the recent history of Patriots leaving the nest for greener pastures. Suffice to say, it is not pretty.
Remember these folks:
- Tully Banta-Cain
- Willie McGinest
- Eugene Wilson
- Deion Branch
- David Givens
- Adam Vinatieri
- Ty Law
- Donte Stallworth
- Romeo Crennel
- Eric Mangini
- Charlie Weis
Vinatieri won a Super Bowl with the Colts but his production has dropped since arriving to Indy. Everyone else flopped considerably or is in the process of trying to restore some shed of credibility to their career (the jury is still out on Philadelphia’s Asante Samuel).
Remember, Kansas City GM Scott Pioli spent six years with the Patriots and probably has an understanding of why these players and coaches have flopped since leaving Foxboro.
Belichick. Brady. That’s a pretty good starting point to solve that mystery. Cassel will try to buck the trend, albeit with plenty of extra cash in his bank account.
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