Oh the beginning of the NFL offseason, how it twists every notion you’ve ever had about the league. Some of the moves surprise you, some of them leave you laughing (I’m looking at you Washington) and then some moves just make absolutely no damn sense whatsoever and leave you in search of the nearest granular alcohol. New England Patriots’ fans, the latter should be your move after Saturday’s boneheaded trade that sent Matt Cassel and defensive leader Mike Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Obviously the Patriots think Tom “Gisele” Brady will be back 100%. But thinking and knowing are two seperate animals. Example: Britney Spears thinks she’s a whore, but Lindsay Lohan knows it. ACL and MCL surgeries are very tough to come back from, even for Mr. Wonderful, and the Pats may have severly screwed up their long term success if Brady comes back and just isn’t the same.
Cassel was the world’s best insurance program. They should’ve held on to him for at least a season to gauge whether or not Brady will be the Brady of old. I’ll lay it out in the following scenarios.
Brady comes back and in the first four weeks of the season and you can tell that he just isn’t the same. He’s timid in stepping into his throws. His pinpoint accuracy has dwindled down to tipped balls and costly interceptions. He turns 33 in less than a year and the franchise can no longer wait on Brady to re-build while they move forward.
Bench Brady and bring in Cassel to run an offense that he proved last year he can make as smooth as a line of coke for George W. Trade Brady before the deadline to a team in desperate need of veteran leadership. But you market him as a three-time Super Bowl Champ, league MVP and as the person most likely to impregnate area models. You could easily get two first round draft picks from a quarterback hungry city like Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Detroit or the Jersey Jets. Throw in a no name defensive player and add on a third and fifth round pick, you not only have a quarterback, but draft picks to build around him.
Your 27-year-old quarterback has a bright NFL future ahead of him, and the possibilty of multiple Super Bowls. Sounds like a situation that the Patriots perfected almost eight years ago …
OK, so Brady comes back and is the all world NFL quarterback the Pats always knew they had, but never underestimate the power of a strong backup who knows the offense. You keep Cassel as an insurance policy for one year. Then you put him on the market as a savvy NFL veteran who can step right in and run your offense as a franchise QB. Only thing is, franchise QBs are worth more than the 34th pick in the draft. A face of a franchise only comes about but every so often, just look at Denver. You once again get a multitude of picks for your quarterback, and use them to build even more weapons around Brady, Randy Moss and the Patriots’ film crew.
Look, three Super Bowls in a decade gives you the right to run your organization how you see fit. I do see a disaster in the making come Week 1, when all of a sudden Robert Kraft is going to be wishing he had number 16 back on his sideline.