Trading for Cassel!
The volatile flash point is that the Jets may be quite willing to give up two (2) first round picks for securing the potential future services of their next franchise player. Most importantly, Matt Cassel will most certainly be willing to sign a very lucrative long term deal offered by the Jets ... which the Patriots will not be able to match. Politically speaking ... the Patriots position is absolutely untenable in that they cannot throw away Mr. Super Bowl to meet the obligations of a lucrative long term agreement with Matt Cassel. In fact, there maybe several teams lining up to claim this potential franchise player and make the franchise claim a reality.
The wild card here is Matt Cassel, in that he is free to negotiate with any team, but it is his hand that determines where he will want to play by signing an offer sheet with the team of his choice, in the event of the franchise claim ... something that was never an option for Brett Farve. Matt, my friends is not stupid. He's going to want to sign with either a contender or with a solid organization with the brightest prospects at winning championships. This anticipated list of teams, which is quite small indeed, is the dart that now stick firmly and deeply into the craw of the Patriots. Oh! The Pain!
If there was a lesson to be learned by the Bret Farve 2008 Play-of-Indiscretions, was that the Green Bay Cheese-heads would do just about anything to keep Bret out of the NFC North, as what is good for football would be for the Vikings to finally claim it's first NFL Super Bowl Title, with Bret retiring with his second ring on the very top of the heap ... call it Elway II. This very thought was absolutely too much for the Cheesers' to bear, which motivated them to deal outside their division. Let's not forget the most important factor of the Bret Farve Trade. Act I included a mutual Minnesota Viking poison pill, which was deeply embedded within the clauses of that trade, to keep Mr. Packer as far away from the Vikings as possible. The question is did the Zig meister learn the hidden meanings from that little bit of indiscretion. The reality was that the Farve trade set the Jets franchise into a tailspin, and the Patriots most certainly will not avail themselves at the possibility of righting the wrongs of that organization.
Isn't it interesting that the cursed fortunes of Super Bowl III & IV (Vikings and Jets) are still entwined to this very day.
So what does it all mean. The first and maybe most important factor is that Matt Cassel would most definitely see the Minnesota Vikings as being not only a contender, but only just a franchise quarterback away from winning it all. Since this could be perceived by Matt Cassel as being the clearest path toward his immortality, it would follow that he would be very interested in signing a lucrative long term Viking offer sheet. Even if the Vikings were willing to stand in line and wait and pay the 2-first round ransom, they wouldn't have to, as the hair-trigger now lies firmly within our grasp and the Patriots are hoping that we pull it with a reasonable politically tenable offer. The reason is obvious in that the Patriots cannot afford to allow Matt to sign just anywhere, allowing Matt to become a New York Jet.
The door of opportunity is now open ... if you shut it out ... it's a sin. The Patriot's can't afford to give Matt away for free, which in this humble narrators opinion means a 2009 1st and 3rd round draft pick ... at most. This number can be sold ... as the alternative is untenable for the Bostonites. The Patriots will try to ship Matt to another team, prior to the engagement of the franchise claim, for either more or better draft picks, but to be direct, the offers will not be made, or they won't be as palatable ... something about the Patriots being caught as cheating-scum-bags and three (3) Super Bowl victories. The eventual deal had stung many owners as preferential treatment that won't soon be forgotten ... the required quick special treatment and considerations where absolutely mystifying. How in the heck did the league get away with destroying evidence ... we'll just never know ... but whatever ... it's good for the league. What is certain, is that if the deal goes down the power brokers get to extract their pound of flesh and the Patriots get to lick their wounds and move on. The key lies within the signature of Matt Cassel on an offer sheet, and that my friends, just might be all the leverage that he will need.
The Brett Farve Saga happened for a reason ... and what turns around .... comes around. There ... its been said.
The Viking Ghost