Friday, February 27, 2009

Vrabel Deal

Ironic how things work as on the same day a notorious malcontent who has never won anything in his life officially inks with one team, another team ships out a popular, team first guy who played a major part in three championships and a fourth near championship. As far as perception goes, you could not get more diametrically opposed than Stephon Marbury and Mike Vrabel. I hate to play the card, but it's almost like today was designed to give the old white guard of the mainstream Boston sports media a collective head explosion. How do you really expect the Dan Shaugnessey's of the world (and for the record I LIKE Shaugnessey's stuff unlike many) to grapple with the concept of bringing in a troubled and controversial black athlete, while a classy, beloved, and good white one gets sent away? I really wonder about this. I'm not calling anybody racist, but it will be interesting to monitor the reactions. Although to be fair, I think the combination of the recent "the goal is to win rings" dictums by all three major ownership groups in town and the successes of the Dillon and Moss experiences have calmed everybody from the "oh the humanity!" clamorings that came after the Moss trade. Now, we all kind of expect this stuff from all of our teams and assume it will work.

As for me, well I'm already on record as being pro-Starbury and even before knowing the return they get for Vrabel, I am going to hop on the pro-Vrabel trade bandwagon too. They NEED to get younger at linebacker and by jettisoning Vrabel they are forcing their own hands. Next stop is to convince Teddy Bruschi that maybe the corporate speaker circuit is his best bet and oh yeah, he always is a more than welcome presence around Foxboro. This isn't a dog on either Vrabel or Bruschi, two of my favorite Patriots of the Championship years. Bruschi's man-strip of Edge James in the 2005 AFC Championship Game is still one of the most badass plays I have EVER seen. And we all know about Vrabel's key contributions to the goalline offense in addition to the D. These are two great players that should be celebrated, but as fans who want to see the team best positioned to win Super Bowl #4 I think we all need to acknowledge it's best for both parties to just move on. Youth is what the D needs at this moment and this move certainly forces this issue.

Regarding the matter of compensation (right now it's an undisclosed draft choice) I think if they can get a first day pick (3rd I see as best case scenario) in exchange for him then super. Even a 4th would not be the end of the world. Plus they clear cap space, another bonus. Thing is though, I am one of the people who thinks that this trade is just step one in a multi-step deal which will land Cassell in KC. Seems like the skids are somehow getting greased here and if that is the case then I see this getting a whole lot more interesting.

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