Nick Cafardo speaks out on the Sports Final no-show by himself and Borges. He says:
“There was a lot of interest this week on why I did not appear on Sports Final last Sunday Night and face the music on Drew Bledsoe and my stance that the Patriots did not make the correct move in trading him to a divisional rival. Unfortunately, I had a sickness in my family that required my attention, otherwise I would have made the show and continued to defend my position. (And by the way, there were a few cheap shots taken at Ron Borges for his absence on Sports Final. He was in Las Vegas covering a fight.) Now, some of you believe that because the Patriots beat Bledsoe twice that the Patriots made the right decision. That was the clincher. That’s an interesting short and narrow view. And if that’s how you judge congratulations, you’re right and I’m wrong. But I would rather take the longer view. First of all, the trade made the Bills better; it did not make the Patriots better. The Patriots have the same record without Bledsoe as they did with him last season. The trade enabled the Bills to accelerate their rebuilding. In the Bledsoe deal, they were able to accomplish several things: they kept their fourth overall pick and chose offensive tackle Mike Williams. They took on Bledsoe’s salary and a very manageable cap number of $5 million, which now gives them space to go out and sign defensive free-agents to boost their team for many years to come. If they had not acquired Bledsoe, they would have signed Tony Banks and quite frankly, the feeling in Buffalo is they would have had to expend a No. 1 pick this season on a quarterback. So now, Tom Donahoe, who may be the executive of the year in the NFL, can concentrate his second round pick and beyond to strengthening depth issues and the defense. Donahoe built great teams in Pittsburgh and now that he has the hardest part of the puzzle to find – a quarterback – he can proceed toward making the Bills a contender next season.”
So did Nick just say that now the Bills aren’t saddled with that pesky first round draft pick, they can concentrate on working on the rest of their draft? Also, as e-mailer Jason notes, “That is the most short sighted view ever. Fifth place schedule vs. 1st place schedule. They weren’t in first at this point last year. Bledsoe didn’t PLAY last year. And Buffalo isn’t much better. They’ll finish 7-9. They could have easily done that last year with just a few breaks.” E-mailer J Davis adds: “Didn’t Cafardo say before the game that if Drew beat the patriots the trade would be considered one of the worst ever? Now he says he likes to look more long term. well, maybe if he keeps it up someday he might be right about something.”
A rebuttal is offered by C. Matthews, who notes:
“The Bills had the toughest schedule in the NFL when the season started, some 5th place schedule! Well considering tie breakers, the Pats are not in first place right now, and if the Playoffs started right now, they would not be in them. And a few breaks the wrong way, and the Pats could be 6-7 (KC & Chicago) instead of 8-5. If Jay Fiedler doesn’t break his thumb, the Pats thoughts of a Division title and maybe a first round bye would have been all but lost right now. Conversely the Bills could have been 8-5 (1st Jets & KC) if they had a few breaks go their way.
You can play “a few breaks” game with almost any team and magically make a teams current record look much worse or better depending how you want, not a strong point to stand on when making this argument. Are we to believe that “J Davis” would not be upset with the trade had Bledsoe Bills defeated the Pats Sunday?
Does “J Davis” not realize that Buffalo is a better team now and for the next few years because of this trade, or does he share a narrow view like e-mailer Jason and play the “few breaks” game to ignore this fact? I can’t believe that people won’t give the fact the Bills are a better team now because of the trade, and if they rely on a few breaks theory, then I guess the Pats didn’t win the Super Bowl because a few breaks went their way so it invalidates their road to that great victory in New Orleans! I doubt
“Jason” thinks this way about the Pats, but seems to have no problems with the Bills, Hmm? I wonder why? Is it a bad trade? I don’t know, (time will only tell) but for anyone to deny that this trade didn’t help the Bills (and maybe to a lesser degree hurt the Pats), is someone that doesn’t know football”
Nick also answers all the usual questions in his weekly mailbag. Mostly Pat Patriots questions along with complaints by readers about how long other readers letters are. Two readers tell Nick that he is the best thing since the Boston Sports Guy. Somewhere, working on a skit involving midget flypaper, Bill Simmons is feeling very sick.
Eric McHugh looks at the impact Jevon Kearse might have on the game Monday night. Tom King says the Patriots are wary of the hobbled Steve McNair. Hector Longo urges people to vote for Roman Phifer for the Pro Bowl. Rob Bradford has a piece in the Lowell Sun talking about Labron James and how he puts Antoine Walker on hold. Bill Simmons passes on some advice on making fantasy league trades. Sean McAdam, in a piece for ESPN.com, says Pete Rose won’t have trouble finding a job should he be reinstated. Here is a transcript of the Todd Walker interview on Dennis and Callahan this morning. (In between Cardinal Law talk)