The similarities between these two situations are uncanny. Both had their last game before an injury, in a playoff game against the Giants. Patriots lost to the Giants in a Superbowl, the 49ers lost in a NFC Championship game.
Both Matt Cassel and Steve Young came into a team that was accustomed to winning. Both had to fill the shoes of two of the most clutch players in NFL history.
They could both run the ball and rely on their legs when they needed. What they do not have yet is the cool and swagger that comes with winning multiple Super Bowls.
What helped a lot is the type of team they were playing on and the fact that they both got to pass to a dynamic duo. Moss and Welker, Rice and Taylor.
My suggestion is re-sign Cassel—if he finishes this season strongly. Re-sign him to either a two or three year deal for decent money.
Make sure Cassel knows that this job is his if he can outperform Tom Brady in the off-season.
Basically, it is his job to lose.
Given the competitive nature of these two it will bring out the best of both quarterbacks. A situation like New England is every NFL players dream. If one of them struggles next season you have a more than capable backup.
If Brady comes back like he should and proves to us why he holds the record for most touchdown passes in one season, then we have a very valuable player that many teams will want.
If Cassel finishes the season this year even distinctly as well as he has done so far he will definitely be worth at least a second round, if not first-round draft pick from him.
If the Patriots can get a first-round draft pick (re-sign Cassel, maybe trade later) and draft another stud such as Meriweather or Mayo then the defense will have the young blood needed for us to be successful for years to come.
If Brady needs some time to find his arm then we will have a good QB such as Cassel in there to lead our team like he has done so far this year.
You never know how a QB will bounce back from a knee injury. One of Brady's most underrated strengths was his ability to move around in the pocket and avoid sacks and take a hit while throwing a pass.
You never know if his mentality will change after this season-ending injury. If the worst case scenario happens and Brady is a shell of his former self, then the Patriots will be able to move onto a new era. *knock on wood*
Right now it is very important for the Patriots to be careful. Matt Cassel could very well be a one-hit wonder or he could become a future Hall-of-Famer.
Tom Brady could come back strong and set records and win Super Bowls or he could sputter a few years before finally retiring.
The most important thing is for this team to continue its dominance. Right now they have two very good quarterbacks and an excellent coach.
Make the right decision and the Patriots dynasty continues into the next decade. Make the wrong one and the Patriots will fade into obscurity and become a bottom-feeder team.
So what move do you think they will make?