Pick your jaw up off the floor. It's a valid question. Let's think about it...
Matt Cassell has stepped in and led the team to a record of 7-4. The Patriots have a favorable schedule down the stretch, and it is entirely possible they could go on a tear and win the final five games in a row. If they don't take the division out from under the Jets, they have a serious shot at the Wild Card. If even a couple of those things fall into place, its going to be very difficult for the Patriots organization to not to reward Cassel handsomely with a HUGE contract and starting QB position for the 2010 season and beyond.
That's right, I said it.
I'm sure the Patriots are at least discussing the option of trading their injured superstar quarterback, Tom Brady. It may be in the best interest of the team to see what they can get for Brady now. The fact is Matt Cassell will be someone's starting quarterback next year. Will it be for the Patriots? He is a free agent at the end of this season, and his stock has gone WAY up. After two 400 yard games in a row, Cassell has definitely caught the attention of the NFL owners. With so many teams doing the QB shuffle, a 26 year-old with a fresh and accurate arm who has understudied the best QB in the game for three years is a god-send. The Patriots would be compensated handsomely in a Tom Brady trade. They could get a couple of big name position players, filling holes on on offense or defense. If the Patriots allow Cassell to leave as a free agent, they get squat. It's all very similar to the move the Patriots made in 2001 when Tom Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe.
Now, the question is can Matt Cassell be as good as Tom Brady? Well the talent and potential are obviously there. Now lets see what the stats tell us.
Over Tom Brady's first 15 games in 2001 he had 413 attempts, 264 completions for 2,843 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while being sacked 41 times.
Over Matt Cassel's first 11 games this year he has 359 attempts, 238 completions for 2,615 yards with 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions while being sacked 34 times.
We'll be able to make a more direct comparison during week 15, but these numbers are comparable and its already clear that Cassel matches up after only 11 weeks as a starter.
Take whichever side you want, but all I'm saying is if the Pats decide to make Brady's comeback someone else's problem - I wouldn't be upset...or surprised.