Originally posted by no1marauder
They're the ones who decided to overpay him a few weeks ago. They're saving no more cap space than if they hadn't franchised him.
There's more than meets the eye on this one. The Pats turned down a first-rounder from Denver for Cassel as well. Here's little excerpt from Chris Mortensen:
"This one defies logic, but a source I really trust tells me it's true: The Broncos were willing to offer their own first-round pick (12th overall) to the Patriots for Cassel. Obviously, it was conditional upon Cutler being traded and Tampa Bay was the most likely destination, the Bucs willing to part with their first- and third-round picks.
But Belichick never embraced a trade with the Broncos, even though it was a head-scratcher on the value part (second-rounder versus a first-rounder). It suggests two or three speculative thoughts:
1. Belichick has always valued second-round picks (he now has three) and didn't want to be stuck at No. 12 financially for whatever reason;
2. Belichick had an agreement with Pioli all along and wouldn't break his word;
3. Belichick isn't about to help another former assistant.
The Broncos sensed resistance all along, which is why they held the Bucs, Lions, Vikings, etc., at arm's length and allows McDaniels his plausible deniability on trading Cutler (and logic supports his denial).
However, despite intense efforts to keep this run at Cassel under wraps, enough damage has been done that Cutler may now be on the block.
The Broncos/Cutler aspect of the trade was reported by the Boston Globe. A Patriots' leak? Why? To mess with McDaniels?"