March 3, 2009

YOU HAVE TO MISUNDERSTAND BILL BELICHICK AND THE NFL PRETTY COMPLETELY...:

Machiavelli of Foxborough (Boston Globe, March 3, 2009)

THE CONSPIRACY theories sparked by the Patriots' trade of quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel to Kansas City for a high second-round draft choice are worthy of downtown Beirut. If the Securities and Exchange Commission had examined Bernard Madoff with a fraction of the skepticism being lavished on coach Bill Belichick's juggling of the Pats' roster, the con man's fleeced investors would still have title to their yachts and Palm Beach estates.

But the intensely competitive Belichick did not attain his professional preeminence by peddling talented players at discount prices. Critics of the Cassel trade risk putting themselves in the position of a tourist who thinks he knows that a rug merchant in the Tehran bazaar has sold a couple of carpets too cheap.

The most risible conspiracy theory has Belichick conspiring with Scott Pioli - his former New England colleague and present Kansas City general manager - to swing a sweetheart deal so favorable to the Chiefs that one sportswriter has called for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to investigate the transaction.


...to think he'd value an early first round pick as highly as the second rounder. Here's a pretty simple test of the conspiracy theory: would you rather have your team quarterbacked by a Belichick 6th round pick, like Tom Brady, or 7th round pick, like Matt Cassel, or by a top 3 pick, like JaMarcus Russell or Vince Young?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 3, 2009 7:21 AM
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