Immediate gratification only works on prom night and all-you-can-eat buffets. The Vrabel/Cassel deal freed up $20 million and while the recession has hit you and I hoss, Kraft isn’t looking to spare a buck on on-field talent. Darin Gantt of the Herald (no, a different Herald, tip of the Patriots helmet to Gregg Rosenthal of NBC) thinks that the dumping of Cassel and the outside line backer was clearing way for Julius Peppers to join the Pats.
We buy into this because, again like you, we are on the Internets and therefore love theories. But also Peppers has voiced his want to play in a 3-4. Hey we have a 3-4! And if a player openly talks about wanting to move means that the last thing he wants to do is walk out of a tunnel on opening day in front of a crowd he has shunned. Have you ever tried to break up with someone and then find yourself still in the relationship a week later? Not a good situation.
This other post by the other Herald makes it seem that the two natural places for Peppers to go is the Pats or the Fins. We already snatched Taylor from the Bills, this would take talent away from the Big Tuna. It also states that: “The bar for such trades was set last year when Kansas City tagged defensive end Jared Allen and traded him to Minnesota for a first-rounder and two thirds.”
Ok in an Us vs Them draft peak we have one first-rounder (23rd) and three in the second (34, 47, 56); they have one first-rounder (25th) and two in the second (44 and 56). Three things could happen. (1) Somebody else like the Broncos poaches Peppers to help bolster their woeful defense. (2) The Dolphins get Peppers but the Pats drive up the premium on him forcing the Big Tuna to give more than he had wanted. Depleting a conference rival. (3) We grab Peppers and give up high picks in a talent-lacking draft.
We don’t think we’ll dish the same that the Chefs did for Allen—probably two second round picks. The bottom line might be that we traded Cassel, Vrabel and a second-rounder for Peppers. Not to shabby considering that two of those aforementioned giveaways wouldn’t have been impact starters for one of the best on defense in the NFL.
Then would you be happy?