Patriots Trade Cassel, Confident in Brady
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2009 10:06 PM CST
In this May 22, 2008, file photo, Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen watch a Celtics game. They're now married.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, file)
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(Newser) – No quarterback controversy here. The New England Patriots—confident that Tom Brady will return stronger than ever—have traded Matt Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Boston Herald reports. Cassel emerged from obscurity this year by leading the Patriots to an 11-5 record after Brady got injured in the season's first game. The deal frees up a lot of money for New England to surround Brady with an even stronger cast, notes Karen Guregian.

The Patriots traded Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs for a second-round pick in the April draft. Sounds like a steal for the Chiefs, and it may be. But it helps the Patriots, too, because it frees them of the $14.65 million salary owed to Cassel by virtue of his designation as a franchise player. Now the Patriots can get a big-name free agent to shore up their defense, if they so choose. Ray Lewis, anyone?