I am going out on a limb here, going against the natural forces, going against everything I believed about not rewarding one-year wonders to ridiculous multi-year contracts.
After all that was my stand with Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, after a Pro Bowl year last year, the Browns got sucked into signing him to an extension. The same thing happened to the Green Bay Packers, after they were enamored by eight good games running back Ryan Grant had.
Where did it all go for these guys this year? Who knows? But there is one thing that stands true to this day, you don't reward someone based on such a small sample size. You do not commit insane amounts and your future to players who have had nothing in their resume to suggest otherwise and then come from nowhere and have a monster year.
With that, the following might shock some people. It might even make them mad. I'm running a risk of opening up flood gates of words not used in norm. I will be called things and be described in not so nice ways.
I know this going in, but I'm willing to do it. So before you decide to berate me with such things, do finish reading the entire article and then I'll be more than willing to accept your criticism.
After an above average, above expectations year that the New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel has had, I think its time for the Patriots to find a new address for Tom Brady. Whew!
There I said it. Nothing against Brady, he is damn good quarterback, but with the success that his backup has had, albeit only a year, I am no longer afraid to say something in public, which I've been bemoaning quietly to myself.
It is the New England Patriots system, the Bill Belichick System, not Brady who turned that team into a dynasty. Brady is the face of the franchise, because we all want a face to associate with things. Brady with his supermodel girlfriend became the logical choice, the sexy pick.
Brady would get more in return to the Patriots and signing Cassel to a marginal term contract would save the Patriots millions. After all is that not what the Patriots are known for. Scouting and drafting unknowns and making them solid NFL players and then letting them go and getting draft picks in return. The Patriots have perfected that system.
It is time they hold nothing back, and trade their most famous commodity. You cannot compromise a system, for one player. The Patriots will be compromising their future if they let Matt Cassel walk. It certainly does not make any sense to "franchise tag" Cassel, that would cost them a lot more than just giving the kid a three or four-year deal.
Cassel in his first full season has surpassed Brady's numbers in his first season. Although deceiving because of the different talent and schemes around him, Cassel has proven he can hold down the fort. So much so that the Patriots should not be worried about giving him the keys to the fort.
Trading Brady would be a tough sell, but it is the right choice for the long term.
Patriots send Brady and his supermodel girlfriend packing to the Detroit Lions for the number one overall pick. The Lions need a bold move, they need a "face of the franchise" type of player. They need someone to go with wideout Calvin Johnson. The Lions need to give a lot back to the community, its die-hard fans, the season ticket holders. Brady who went to Michigan will fit the bill. Brady will sell tickets, jerseys, and perhaps even ratings for the Lions. Brady will be a step toward making that team respectable again.
For those who say the Lions have too many holes to trade away their most prized possession. I agree that they have more holes in their roster than the recently given government bailout to Detroit's big three. Lions would most likely draft a quarterback with that pick, why not get a proven, poised, talented ready made quarterback, then draft and groom one and go thru a two or three year on the job training process with virtually no guarantee that he would pan out.
This year's draft class is deep on the lines, and the Lions also has the Dallas Cowboys' first round pick. This year's free agent class is exceptional. The Lions trade for Brady, sign a couple upper tier free agents, draft and groom the other needs. Sounds like a pretty simple plan, given Ford Motor Co., will open their wallets. They better, after giving Detroit a black eye of the NFL, for their winless efforts in the 2008 season.
The plan for the Lions to follow would be similar to the approach the Miami Dolphins took this offseason. Sign a quarterback, draft and groom and be on their way. It is easier said than done, but when you have not won a game in a calendar year, you need to think outside the box to save your franchise. Who knows, in the aging NFC North Detroit might be competitive again very soon.
It is a win-win situation for both teams.
Detroit Lions fans can finally buy jerseys other than that of Barry Sanders or Calvin Johnson.
New England would have a solid quarterback in Cassel, who knows maybe even the next Brady. You know the one who took the Bill Belichick ladder to make a name for himself.
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