Cassel and Vrabel to the Chiefs for only a second round draft pick? Not so fast grasshopper. The method to Bill Belichick’s genius is becoming more apparent. While there has been no signed deal yet, the rumor mill is running overtime and it appears that the Patriots are in discussions with the Carolina Panthers to acquire defensive end Julius Pepper in exchange for – wait for it – a second round draft pick!
At the end of the season Pepper turned down a contract extension for he wanted to be traded to a team where he could be a linebacker and play for a team with a 3-4 defense. According to Vic Carucci of NFL.com, it is expected that the deal will be completed some time between the owners meeting (March 22-25) and the player draft on April 25th. It is reported that of the four teams that Pepper would agree to be traded to, the Patriots are believed to be the only AFC team in the mix.
So does this explain why Bill and the Patriots let Cassel and Vrabel go so cheap? Was this all in the cards? Who knows! But if this deal is completed it would go a long way towards explaining the method to Bill’s madness.