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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Talking Cassel, Lions

According to multiple reports, the Minnesota Vikings are close to acquiring Sage Rosenfels from the Houston Texas for a fourth-round draft pick. The deal can't become official until Friday, but its ramifications seem clear: The Vikings are content to go into next season with Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson battling it out at quarterback. More importantly, by trading that high of a pick, the Vikings won't be a factor in any Matt Cassel sweepstakes.

The Patriots franchised Cassel earlier this offseason as insurance for Tom Brady's injured knee. They could keep him at the steep price tag of $14.6 million next year or trade him for draft picks (this year or next) once they're confident Brady has healed.

Where do the Lions come in? They have a well-documented need at quarterback, plenty of draft picks to maneuver with, the cap space to take on Cassel's contract (which no doubt would be reworked as a long-term deal if he's traded) and a general manager in Martin Mayhew who's already shown a willingness to trade (Roy Williams last October).

I don't have any indications the Lions and Patriots have talked or that New England is even willing to deal Cassel at this point, but surely there will come a point when that bridge is crossed.

The Lions would be foolish to give up the No. 1 overall pick for Cassel, who'll be 27 once the season starts and has started one season of football this decade (albeit a fine season last year). The market doesn't bear it. But what about No. 20? Or better yet, what about 33?

New England, presumably, would start any discussions at a first-round pick and then some in terms of compensation. The market seems to bear that out. Rosenfels fetched a fourth, and two years ago Matt Schaub went for two seconds and a swap of first-round picks (Atlanta, which traded Schaub, moved up two spots in the deal).

But when the two sides start playing chicken, where does it end? The Lions surely would want Cassel in for their first of two mini-camps the weekend before the draft, and the list of potential landing spots will shrink by then. Minnesota's already out of the running. If the Jets sign Byron Leftwich in free agency and Washington adds Albert Haynesworth and a big contract, they probably will be, too. 

That leave the Chiefs, where former Patriots personnel man Scott Pioli is now general manager, the Buccaneers, and maybe the Rams or Panthers or Bears. None of those teams has as much ammunition (and maybe incentive) to move up as the Lions. If you're considering Matt Stafford at No. 1 or Mark Sanchez at No. 20, then don't you have to consider Cassel for the 20th pick, too? Pair him with an offensive tackle or a linebacker at the top of the draft and this is a dramatically different team.

What if it also costs you a second-rounder next year? Is that too steep a price? On the other hand, what if all it takes is something like the Schaub trade? The Lions give up seconds this year and next and the teams exchange first-rounders (New England moves up to 20 and the Lions slide down to 23).

How bad and at what price would you want Cassel?

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Blogger Todd said...

Ive been thinking this all along... its less risky than Stafford, Sanchez, and, god forbid Josh Freeman. Thats not to say its without risk... but its clearly the best alternative (if they do indeed want to go out and find a QB this year and not wait till next years draft)

12:49 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cassel = 1 year wonder

1:02 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:10 PM 
Blogger Matthew said...

No deal. With or without Cassel the Lions will be 6-10 at the very best next year. We need as many picks as possible. Stick the P-men with him one more year and maybe try for him as a FA next year. This way we don't lose anything, plus Cassel may just be the second coming of Scott Mitchel.

1:17 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd rather have Stafford at No. 1 overall (something I don't really like) than trading for Cassell.

1:47 PM 
Anonymous Tony said...

I would give up 2 seconds for him in a heartbeat. Still have 2 first round picks, which would not be used for a QB, so the Lions could get help on the Defensive side.

2:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hell no, he isnt even good, jon kitna would post 6,000 yards on the patriots come on.

2:29 PM 
Anonymous Steve said...


3:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he's a product of their system, but that doesn't mean he's not any good either.

the more i think about and dissect schwartz's comments, the more i think curry is gonna be our numb 1 pick....schwartz has repeatedly said that we're not gonna draft a position player, we're gonna take the BEST player available. curry, at this point, def fits that profile.

4:02 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's a nice little 'WTF?!?' moment for you all to enjoy:

barry! we have the schwartz coaching us now! come back!

5:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another 'WTF?!?' moment:

flash back to 1994 - i believe it's week 8, bucs @ lions

BOTH times barry busts a huge run [50+ yards], MARTIN MAYHEW is the ONLY one who runs him down FROM BEHIND and tackles him before he goes in for the score.

i got some serious chills right now.

10:02 PM 
Blogger AMH said...

I agree w/ most of the comments here, he's the product of the system. How many games would Orvolsky have won w/ the Pats last year? 9? I don't want Scott Mitchell Redux, nothing more than a 2nd rounder for him.

10:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't want Cassell--between having to give up a draft pick and pay him a small fortune--no thanks.

5:26 AM 

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