The trade of veteran LB Mike Vrabel by the Patriots to the Chiefs last week was met by shock and surprise around New England. Vrabel, a team leader and known favorite of coach Bill Belichick in New England was shipped, along with franchise-tagged QB Matt Cassel, to the Chiefs for a second-round pick (34th overall) in next month’s draft — compensation that also produced shock and surprise.
The Chiefs have remained very quiet about the details of a deal that several reports questioned as lopsided. On Friday, Vrabel made his first comments as a Chief when he was introduced to the media via a conference call.
Vrabel effectively sidestepped a question asking if he wanted out of New England, saying “the situation is what it is.”
“To be anything but excited wouldn’t be giving the Chiefs, players and the fans the respect that they deserve,” Vrabel continued. “I am playing for the Chiefs. Whoever I was going to be playing for this year, I would give them the same effort.”
Vrabel, who as recently as 2007 was named to the Pro Bowl when he posted a career-high 12.5 sacks, sounded like a veteran who was ready to help a young Chiefs squad that finished 2-14 last season.
“I know that I have got some more football left,” Vrabel said. “I can still play and I can still help the Chiefs and I will help the Chiefs. I have never gone into a season and said, ‘I am going to do this, this and this.’ I will promise you that I will work, I’ll be consistent and, God willing, I will be durable. Those are the things that I like to think that I brought to the table in New England and will bring to the table in Kansas City.”
Vrabel went on to comment on Cassel, his leadership style and the definition of “The Patriot Way.” The Chiefs’ official Web site posted a transcript of the conference call.