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Patriots Fans Justify Why Cutler Is Worth More Than Cassel

With the recent trade of Jay Cutler, Patriots fans are puzzled.  They're trying to understand the fact that Jay Cutler (and a third round pick) was worth two first rounders and a starting QB in trade value, while their own Matt Cassel (and an old linebacker) were only worth a single second round pick.   How is that possible?  Considering the Patriots are Super Geniuses like Wile E. Coyote, how could there be such a discrepancy in trade value?

Boston Globe writer Mike Reiss is so unable to get his mind around it that he starts making up analogies.

Summing up my thoughts, I go back to what I wrote when the Patriots made the Cassel trade. I compared the trade to the Patriots playing blackjack and getting dealt a 17.

When considering the totality of the situation, it wasn't the best hand, or a 21 like the Broncos were just dealt. At the same time, I still don't see it as a fold.

What the hell is he talking about?  Trades aren't decided by having teams spin the Wheel-O-Compensation.  "Oops, too bad, you got Mike Vrabel!"  The Broncos weren't "dealt" anything.  It's not random. Trades are negotiatied.    He also brings up the point that the Patriots were hindered because they would never trade Cassel to Denver, although Denver wasn't the one offering the two first round picks so I don't know why that matters. 

Reiss does bring up some other, more relevant, points.  The biggest point is the fact that the Pats had too much salary cap money tied up in Cassel so they had to move fast (true).  Cassel's one-year, $14.6 million salary was also an obstacle, as teams would be worried they couldn't get Cassel signed to an affordable long-term contract (also true). 

What Reiss misses is that both of those things were the Patriots' faultThey're the ones that used the franchise tag on Cassel, thereby locking up salary cap money.  And that franchise tag automatically instituted the one-year, $14.6 million salary.   That isn't random chance.  That isn't the market.   That's the Patriots mishandling the situation. 

Denver announced that Cutler was on the market and 48 hours later they had traded him for two first round draft picks and a starting QB.  You have to wonder if the Patriots had made a similar public announcement if they would have come up with the same windfall.

It looks to me like the Patriots screwed up the entire Matt Cassel situation.  Now imagine what it will look like if Brady isn't healthy....