There’s one story behind the trade of Matt Cassel to the Chiefs. There’s a whole other story behind that blockbuster story.
While New England and Kansas City were agreeing to Saturday’s trade of Cassel to the Chiefs for the draft’s 34th overall pick, there were more teams in the mix. Detroit, Tampa and Denver were involved in trade talks of their own also tied to Cassel, according to sources in the respective NFL cities.
Tampa approached Denver to try to make a three-way trade that would have sent Cassel to the Broncos and quarterback Jay Cutler to the Buccaneers. The Broncos entertained the notion and pondered it but ultimately decided against it.
Also, the Lions approached the Broncos about a trade for Cutler, trying to dangle Cassel as bait. Once again, Denver debated the deal and opted against it apparently. What made it a moot point was that while all Tampa, Detroit and Denver engaged in trade talks with New Engalnd, the Patriots went ahead and dealt Cassel to the Chiefs.
The Broncos firmly maintain that they never intended to trade Cutler, that they were approached to make the trades. But, as of Saturday afternoon, Cutler was angry to hear that his name had been floated in any trade conversations.
Now the Chiefs have Cassel, the Broncos still have Cutler and the Lions and Buccaneers continue their search for quarterbacks in one of the wilder and more complex behind-the-scene dramas the NFL has seen in any recent offseason.