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Old 02-28-09, 02:37 PM
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Patriots deal Cassel to Chiefs

Patriots deal Cassel to Chiefs
1 hour, 2 minutes ago

FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (Ticker)—The New England Patriots on Saturday traded quarterback Matt Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs.

It was the second trade in as many days between the clubs, which turned into a package deal of Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel for Kansas City’s second-round pick (No. 34) this year.

New Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, the former Patriots’ personnel director, engineered the deals with New England in an attempt to turn around a downtrodden team that finished a franchise-worst 2-14 last season.

“I have a long history with both players,” Pioli said. “Mike and Matt are men that I respect both personally and professionally. I look forward to having them as new members of the Chiefs family.”

Cassel was designated as the Patriots’ franchise player earlier this month, guaranteeing him a $14.65 million for next season.

After stepping in for incumbent starter Tom Brady, who was lost for the year with a knee injury in the season opener, Cassel turned in an outstanding season for the Patriots.

In his first season as a starter since high school, Cassel completed over 63 percent of his passes for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions after taking over for Brady.

Cassel played superbly down the stretch, throwing eight TDs and just one interception as New England won its final four games to finish with an 11-5 record.

“It is very easy to root for guys like Matt Cassel, who do everything the right way and flourish as a result,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. “As much as we would have loved to continue working with Matt, we wish him nothing but the best as he takes this next step forward in his career.”

Quarterback was a major trouble spot for the Chiefs, who started three quarterbacks during a franchise-worst 2-14 campaign.

Tyler Thigpen got the bulk of the starts in the second half and played decently, but the Chiefs lost six of their last 10 games by seven points or fewer.

On Friday, the teams announced that Vrabel had been dealt to the Chiefs for an undisclosed draft choice.

Vrabel, 33, had four sacks last season, his eighth with the Patriots and 12th overall. He had a career-high 12 1/2 sacks in 2007.

Patriots deal Cassel to Chiefs - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
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