Last week, Matt Cassel got his pig payday from the Kansas City Chiefs under the management of former New England Patriots executive Scott Pioli. While acquiring Cassel, the Chiefs also got linebacker Mike Vrabel from the Pats for a second round pick. Does it surprise you that someone who left New England decides to scoop up their former players and bring them to their new team in order to win? Not me. This is a common occurrence in professional sports and creates a somewhat familiar environment while taking over a franchise with new beginnings.
In an article on Two Cents From Beantown, Chuck Hanf spoke briefly about Matt Cassel and his six year, $63 M contract ($28 M guaranteed) with the Kansas City Chiefs:
He is a good QB---who now makes more money than the guy he used to back up in N.E.
Although Chuck is correct that Cassel's contract is larger than the six year, $60 M contract that Brady signed in 2005 with New England, I thought it would also be fair to mention that Tom Brady won two Super Bowls before signing that contract and also restructured his contract to take a pay cut two years ago in order to bring Randy Moss to the team. Also, with all the incentives in Brady's contract, he was earning about $26 M per season. With his new contract, Cassel is earning around $10 M per year and won't get close to Brady's incentives. I'm positive that Chuck isn't saying in any way that Cassel is a better quarterback than Brady, because we all know that isn't true. I just needed to make sure my eye's weren't deceiving me when I read that Cassel was making more than Brady.
Kansas City is giving Matt Cassel this type of money to show him that they believe he is their quarterback of the present and the future. The Chiefs didn't give up a second round pick to bring Cassel in for a trial year trying to pay him league average. Scott Pioli knows what Matt Cassel is capable of and is giving him the reigns to the franchise hoping that he can lead them like he led the Patriots after Brady went out with season ending knee surgery.
This is not an attempt to degrade Matt Cassel and say that he shouldn't be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Cassel rightfully is a starter and it would have been a tragedy for Matt to be holding a clipboard in New England this season watching Brady lead the team that he held so tightly together last year after the fact. On the other hand, is Matt Cassel going to be successful in Kansas City this season? Of course not. The Chiefs are going to be climbing out of the gutter after having been a bottom feeder for the past decade and are currently rebuilding under Pioli.
Will Cassel become a successful quarterback in the future with the Chiefs? Yes. Don't expect Matt Cassel to take the Chiefs to the Wildcard with an 11-5 record this season, but do expect that he will throw for 3,000 yards with 15-17 touchdowns. Kansas City got a hold of a young, extremely eager and competitive quarterback who has proven he can be efficient when knowing the system he is working with. Good Luck Mr. Cassel, we'll be seeing you in the playoffs in two or three years and at that point, I have no care at all what you did for New England in the past. Until that day, I'll be sure to check in on your games each week.
Thanks to cerebusfangirl for the photo of Matt Cassel.