In the football world, we can usually identify exactly how much a particular player is worth. We do that through the value of the player's contract, the price tag on a trade or how much the player is on the field. There are ways to put numbers on a player's value.
But when the Kansas City Chiefs sent the 34th overall pick to the New England Patriots for QB Matt Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel, it was hard not to think the Chiefs got a sweetheart deal -- and that had very little to do with Vrabel.
In the end, though, Chiefs players came to understand the value of Vrabel on the defense. LB Andy Studebaker, who benefited from Vrabel's presence perhaps more than any other player on the team in the last two years, believes he was actually invaluable in Kansas City.
"Ultimately, the guy is invaluable as a leader," Studebaker told Nick Wright on 610 Sports Monday afternoon. "You don't know how to value that leadership in the locker room when a guy whose been winning Super Bowls, been to big games throughout 14 years in his career and has been the hardest worker on his team, that's invaluable."
Studebaker sure didn't think Vrabel was a "throw-in" to the trade that brought Cassel to KC.
"We were blessed to have Mike in that deal," Studebaker told Nick Wright. "I can assure you that was done intentionally. I think we got the better end of that deal for sure. Not just me, but the stuff the other guys on the team who were my age, learned -- we were a young team and we got to grow up under that leadership. We learned a lot.
"Going forward, Mike set the bar for the Chiefs. He set the bar for the organization, for the others on the team -- this is what an offseason looks like, this is what preparation during the week looks like, this is what game day looks like on Sunday and ultimately this is what the playoffs look like. He guided us through that and you can't put a price tag on that."