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CASSEL READY TO CASH IN?

Overshadowed by the Jets’ 34-31 overtime win against the Patriots is the stellar performance of New England quarterback Matt Cassel.  With New York intent on taking away the run, Cassel completed 30 of 51 passes for 400 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks.  He also rushed for 62 yards, making him (or so they told me on ESPN this morning) the first player in league history to throw for 400 and run for more than 60 in the same game.
Cassel capped his night with an ’81 Montana-esque rollout to the right sideline and a needle-threading throw to Randy Moss, for the touchdown that forced the extra session.  Here’s the video.

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But the seventh-round pick from the 2005 draft will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and he likely has done at least enough this season (especially after last night) to prompt a team that otherwise would be inclined to take a flier on a passer in round one of the draft to offer Cassel something along the lines of $60 million over six years, with $25 million or so guaranteed.
With Brett Favre possibly retiring (and costing $13 million in salary and cap space if he doesn’t), the New York Jets might be very interested Cassel.  Other potential suitors could include the Chiefs, the Vikings, the Bears, the Lions, the Buccaneers, the 49ers, the Rams, and the Seahawks.
Of course, this presumes that the Pats won’t try to keep him.  But while guys like Marshall Faulk of NFL Network think that Cassel could pull a Bledsoe on Tom Brady, it’s highly unlikely that the Pats would ink Cassel to a long-term deal and put Brady on the block.  (As Cris Collinsworth jokingly observed after Marshall made his case during the pregame show, perhaps someone has dropped something on Faulk’s head.)
The Pats knew in 2001 that Brady could be better than Bledsoe ever was.  But Cassel is no Brady.
Still, we don’t rule out the possibility of the Patriots using the franchise tag on Cassel (which would guarantee him a 2009 base salary of more than $10 million), and then perhaps trying to trade him.  (They’ve done that before with safety Tebucky Jones.)  The challenge will be to have enough cap space available to devote to Cassel.  But if a trade can be lined up before the clock strikes twelve on the opening day of the 2009 league year, the Pats could unload Cassel’s cap space — and then use it on new free agents immediately thereafter.
In our view, that’s the more likely scenario.  Cassel will still get a starting job of his own, and he’ll still be paid more than handsomely.  But the Patriots will also legitimately finagle the system in order to get something of value in return.

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61 Responses to “CASSEL READY TO CASH IN?”
  1. opiumkid says: Nov 14, 2008 11:13 AM

    Alright, this is a tangent, but did anyone else hear Collinsworth whiff on the analysis of the Moss touchdown? He kept railing about how the Jets changed their strategy for this one play, giving Moss a big cushion. It had NOTHING TO DO with the outcome of the play. The coverage was good. Collinsworth was just too eager to pat himself on the back for noticing something like where the corner was lined up. FAIL.

  2. VBG says: Nov 14, 2008 11:15 AM

    He’ll end up being the next Scott Mitchell. Maybe he’ll even sign with the Lions lol

  3. mikef76 says: Nov 14, 2008 11:17 AM

    I don’t know…I’m a Pats fan and I’m still not sold. He made a number of very good throws, but he also missed on a number of passes that starting NFL QBs should make. How many outs did he overthrow Watson on last night? He has terrible accuracy on anything deep.
    I think he’s filled in for Brady admirably. He’s become the consumate game managing QB but I’m not convinced he’d be any better than Matt Schaub as a starter and that’s not a compliment.

  4. JAXSUN says: Nov 14, 2008 11:17 AM

    A Romo/Rodgers deal for Cassel? Just because he’s had one stellar game against a less than stellar pass defense? Don’t think so Florio maybe something has fallen on your head.
    Also, when did you become such an evaluator of QBs? You say Cassel is no Brady – thats fine, nobody else is. But if you remember Bradys first few seasons, he wasn’t looking as good in any game as Cassel did last night and the offense never went as one dimensional with Brady during that period as it did with Cassel last night. Not taking anything away from Brady, he is fantastic, but we haven’t seen all that Cassel can do just yet.

  5. dward2k4 says: Nov 14, 2008 11:18 AM

    The fact that Randy “sticky hands” Moss was the guy who caught the “Montana-like” pass has nothing to do with it, right?!?!?! Come on… Moss will make anyone look like a Stud!!

  6. Chris from MD says: Nov 14, 2008 11:20 AM

    He may cash in, but I don’t think so. I think it is more of the team around him making him look good, and Cassell’s actual ability. Moss, Welker, and the like give him good targets.
    Take a look at his stats: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8644
    Not exactly aw-inspiring

  7. ABROWNSFAN says: Nov 14, 2008 11:21 AM

    Derek Anderson anyone? When will the league learn that one good game or good year doesn’t always equal a great career.

  8. Dooger says: Nov 14, 2008 11:22 AM

    “$60 million over six years”
    What? When you factor in some kind of bonus, wouldn’t that make him the 7th highest paid QB in the league (ahead of Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and TOM BRADY)?
    What am I missing here? I’m using these numbers:
    http://content.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/salaries/playersbyposition.aspx?pos=132&order=Salary+desc

  9. coleslaw says: Nov 14, 2008 11:23 AM

    Cassell will leave and become the next Scott Mitchell, complete junk.
    It’s the system you dopes.

  10. freedomispopular says: Nov 14, 2008 11:24 AM

    I think Belichick will bring back Cassell and cut Brady just to prove to everyone that he’s immortal.

  11. Ditkas Cigar says: Nov 14, 2008 11:24 AM

    Sometimes I wonder what the heck you’re thinking when you write things … With the play of Kyle Orton so far this year, why in the heck would the BEARS be interested in Cassel.
    Furthermore, the BEARS are way tooooo cheap to spend that kind of coin on a QB.

  12. shuxion says: Nov 14, 2008 11:25 AM

    As long as he doesn’t have to throw the deep ball.

  13. RobJH says: Nov 14, 2008 11:26 AM

    With the way Thigpen has played the last few weeks, I don’t see the Chiefs going after a big money QB. Maybe a solid veteran backup to push in camp (Leftwich?) though.

  14. LebronJeremy says: Nov 14, 2008 11:26 AM

    Where was the flag? Both players should have been flagged. Moss puched off and the corner was holding him.

  15. Polarmute says: Nov 14, 2008 11:27 AM

    Why would the Bears be interested in Cassell when Orton is playing well for them? That doesn’t make much sense to me.

  16. LSCII says: Nov 14, 2008 11:27 AM

    What would you rather do if you were a GM? Give a pile of money to an untested draft pick, or throw some cash at a guy who’s at least shown he can read a pro defense? Kind of a no brainer to me, and good for Matt. If he does cash in, it’s because his play has earned him that contract.

  17. Pea Tear Griffin says: Nov 14, 2008 11:27 AM

    Texans. They love giving 60mil to QB’s who have some ‘potential’

  18. RobJH says: Nov 14, 2008 11:28 AM

    Cassel needs to go to a West Coast offense because definitely cannot throw the deep ball.

  19. east96st says: Nov 14, 2008 11:30 AM

    Easy schedule equals deceptive QB stats. See Anderson, Derek circa 2007.

  20. Canadian Mike says: Nov 14, 2008 11:34 AM

    Mikef76,
    Wow, I don’t know what you have against Schaub but I’d like to see a guy like Schaub play for my Vikings anyday!!

  21. Rob0769 says: Nov 14, 2008 11:36 AM

    “Cassell will leave and become the next Scott Mitchell, complete junk.
    It’s the system you dopes.”
    When your Jets sign him this offseason, I am sure you will change your tune. The Jets are probably one of the favorites to sign him if the Pats don’t tag him.

  22. Rob0769 says: Nov 14, 2008 11:38 AM

    BTW, the Pats are unofficially $24 million under the cap for next season. So it doesn’t seem to be an issue to tag and trade him if they do it quickly enough.

  23. VBG says: Nov 14, 2008 11:40 AM

    “coleslaw says:
    November 14th, 2008 at 11:23 am
    Cassell will leave and become the next Scott Mitchell, complete junk.”
    LOL I said the same thing. I have a feeling that there’s a lot of kids here that don’t remember Scott Mitchell though.

  24. Jaothcg says: Nov 14, 2008 11:41 AM

    And what happens if Cassels is not a good little NE sock puppet and refuses to sign his tag, he is not under contract, not obligated to report to anyone, but NE is still obligated to carry his (then pretty much dead) 10 mil on their cap books.. I suspect this isnt an option NE will be willing to risk.

  25. bofarr says: Nov 14, 2008 11:41 AM

    I believe it’s a moot point because I feel the Pats will franchise him for next year to make sure Brady is healthy. Then they will draft a guy to groom this spring to groom for the back-up job, someone like Chase Daniel out of Mizzou who will go in the 3-4 round and has the perfect make-up and attitude to be a Pat. If Tommy comes back strong, Cassell can be traded during the 2009 season or before the 2010 season.

  26. TCLARK says: Nov 14, 2008 11:42 AM

    He is a young Rich Gannon. Hopefully someone will give him a chance before he’s 35.

  27. TCLARK says: Nov 14, 2008 11:46 AM

    Chris from MD says:
    “November 14th, 2008 at 11:20 am
    He may cash in, but I don’t think so. I think it is more of the team around him making him look good, and Cassell’s actual ability. Moss, Welker, and the like give him good targets.”
    Yeah just like in Dallas. T.O., Jason Witten,and Roy Williams make Johnson and Bollinger look like great QB’s. Oh wait.

  28. bgman says: Nov 14, 2008 11:47 AM

    I see the Vikings making a move for an available young QB, but not at $10 million per year.
    Cassell will make some money in the offseason, but I don’t see anyone paying him as a top-10 QB based on the fact that he has been semi-successful on a team thatr was one play away from a perfect season last year.
    It’s not like he’s done what Matt Ryan has in taking one of the worst teams in the NFL and putting them in the playoff hunt.

  29. WalrusCP says: Nov 14, 2008 11:56 AM

    I think he could do well in the West Coast offense where he won’t go deep very often. The Bucs, Niners, and Vikings strike me as good fits for him.

  30. Coach Carl says: Nov 14, 2008 11:58 AM

    “I see the Vikings making a move for an available young QB, but not at $10 million per year.
    Cassell will make some money in the offseason, but I don’t see anyone paying him as a top-10 QB based on the fact that he has been semi-successful on a team thatr was one play away from a perfect season last year.”
    –Interesting thoughts but that is exactly what the Packers did with Aaron Rodgers-and he hasn’t been nearly as successful as Cassell…face it, the NFL is QB-starved-and as long as hacks like Culpepper can make decent money for just walking in the door, the young guys will be picking up the big checks….
    By the by, in that video clip-anybody notice the horribble non-call on the offensive pass interference that is the typical Moss catch??

  31. mikef76 says: Nov 14, 2008 12:05 PM

    Canadian Mike,
    Houston paid a lot of money (and gave up a lot in draft picks) to acquire Schaub and in my opinion he’s never lived up to expectations. He puts up pretty good numbers, but the Texans seem to play better when Rosenfals is in there…At best he’s a lower middle of the pack QB in the NFL and that’s not what Houston hoped they were getting.
    You’re a Viking fan huh? I guess after a couple of years of watching Jackson and Frerotte lots of QBs look pretty good!

  32. PFTiswhatitis says: Nov 14, 2008 12:05 PM

    is that Law holding, no molesting, Moss before that catch?

  33. kylek says: Nov 14, 2008 12:07 PM

    Coach Carl says:
    By the by, in that video clip-anybody notice the horribble non-call on the offensive pass interference that is the typical Moss catch??

    Are you for real? How about the mugging by Ty Law?

  34. sonvar says: Nov 14, 2008 12:08 PM

    Cassel will be good for a team that just needs him to do mostly short passes. Because he loses a lot of accuracy the further down the field he throws it.
    And if the Jets pick him up then they are officially idiots. They just dropped Pennington because he doesn’t have the big arm. So going for Cassel means they decided that while Favre did well for them it’s back to short passes again.

  35. Coach Carl says: Nov 14, 2008 12:15 PM

    Not even close to a problem with Law on that one. It’s standard Moss techinique…goes into the endzone-puts his hands on the DB, leans on him to get him leaning the wrong way-puts out the hand to signal the QB, and then pushed Law away from him as the ball arrives. Watch the last 15 seconds of the clip closely….I’ve seen him do it a hundred times…..

  36. pitch87mph says: Nov 14, 2008 12:22 PM

    Somehow, I doubt this. The guy is BELOW the league average in completions beyond 20 yards. Brady blew the league average away last year. And, in fact, all the great QBs excel at the vertical game. Even Chad Pennington–with his pop cap arm–does better than you’d expect at the deep ball. Cassell has shown great accuracy inside 20 yards, but has been nothing short of an abomination beyond that. He’s got Randy Moss, for crying out loud, and still sucks. I think most teams with good GMs (so perhaps the Lions will make a play for him) will see this weakness in his game. Cassel strikes me as a “system” QB that could be decent and serviceable like a Jeff Garcia or the former Brad Johnson (not the new, grandpa version). But those guys never got the HUGE contract, and neither will Cassel. Yes… he’ll “cash in” for a guy that never played college ball. But something more in the range of $3-$5 million, ala Todd Collins or Chad Pennington. $10M + is reserved for superstars. Cassel is a serviceable starter and a great backup (think Frank Reich or the aforementioned Todd Collins).

  37. Chris from MD says: Nov 14, 2008 12:23 PM

    “Yeah just like in Dallas. T.O., Jason Witten,and Roy Williams make Johnson and Bollinger look like great QB’s. Oh wait. ”
    Doesn’t T.O. drop a lot of balls? Wasn’t Bollinger terrible before he came to the Cowboys? Johnson is just to old to play, the speed of the game is way past him.
    Cassell goes some place like the Ravens, or Tampa, where the receivers aren’t great, I bet he doesn’t put up great numbers.

  38. Rob0769 says: Nov 14, 2008 12:26 PM

    “I believe it’s a moot point because I feel the Pats will franchise him for next year to make sure Brady is healthy. Then they will draft a guy to groom this spring to groom for the back-up job, someone like Chase Daniel out of Mizzou who will go in the 3-4 round and has the perfect make-up and attitude to be a Pat. If Tommy comes back strong, Cassell can be traded during the 2009 season or before the 2010 season.”
    No way do the Pats tie up $30 million at the QB position. Also, the Pats drafted Kevin O’Connell in the third round this year to replace Cassel next year.

  39. moswesley says: Nov 14, 2008 12:27 PM

    Randy Moss had 23 tds year one with Brady. Moss will have maybe 10 to 12 tds this year – tops. Cassel has done a fine job – made the throw late in the game last night – but he simply isn’t consistent hitting the deep ball. Not even at a Tony Romo/$60 million w/ $25 million bonus level. I’m not a Patriots fan, but they know how to win games, have great receivers, solid o-line, and a defense that gets good field position and keeps the game within reach. Cassel has also had plenty of time to learn the offense, and wasn’t thrown in mid-season, which cuts down on mistakes. He still lost the game to Favre, who had three weeks to learn the offense.
    Ask yourself, how good would the Patriots be with say, Daunte Culpepper at QB? I’m sure they wouuld probably still be 5-5, or near it.

  40. vegas42 says: Nov 14, 2008 12:27 PM

    “dward2k4 says:
    The fact that Randy “sticky hands” Moss was the guy who caught the “Montana-like” pass has nothing to do with it, right?!?!?! Come on… Moss will make anyone look like a Stud!!”
    Andrew Walter and Kerry Collins would like a word with you…

  41. theVIC says: Nov 14, 2008 12:30 PM

    The next time I care about Mike Florio’s opinion about how good a QB is or isn’t will be the first time.

  42. PFTiswhatitis says: Nov 14, 2008 12:40 PM

    @coachcarl: watch the clip: Law has him arm around Moss’ waist and the other on his chest. Moss then changes direction and dives away from Law. Nowhere does Moss push off. I guess you are seeing what you want to see.
    Cassel has a decent enough arm. He was rushed on that long pass to Moss but he has the arm strength unlike Pennington.

  43. jhitchins1 says: Nov 14, 2008 12:41 PM

    Cassel is the product of a great system, just like Brady is. They both have talent, and are good players, but neither would have the same success somewhere else as they do in the Pats system. I know that Pats fans think Brady is the best QB ever, but he is slightly overrated, as evidenced by Cassel stepping in and doing as good as Brady would himself. I know, the Pats went undefeated last year with Brady, but that defense is really showing its age, and it appears opposing teams are starting to figure out Belichek’s system.

  44. FlorioHatesMyTeamMoreThanHeHatesYourTeamWaahhh says: Nov 14, 2008 12:47 PM

    bofarr says:
    November 14th, 2008 at 11:41 am
    I believe it’s a moot point because I feel the Pats will franchise him for next year to make sure Brady is healthy. Then they will draft a guy to groom this spring to groom for the back-up job, someone like Chase Daniel out of Mizzou who will go in the 3-4 round and has the perfect make-up and attitude to be a Pat.
    Yeah, BB and Pioli used a 3rd round pick this year, for O’Connell, to be the successor to Brady down the road, and they are going to waste another 3rd pick next year, for Chase Daniel, to be the successor to Brady’s backup. Yeah, that is a genius move right there.
    I wouldnt be surprised to see the Eagles take a look at him. I know Reid has a bromance with McNabb, and they drafted Kolb, but they run a West Coast system, and the Eagles (like the Jets) love anything NE related. When you consider the way Samual left NE for Philly, the Eagles are probably already negotiating with Cassel, lol

  45. Superfan says: Nov 14, 2008 1:00 PM

    Cassel will be a top 15 QB next year. Wait he is already that now. Pats will do the right thing.

  46. FlorioHatesMyTeamMoreThanHeHatesYourTeamWaahhh says: Nov 14, 2008 1:04 PM

    Since most of you “experts” cant look at a media guide, and you simply listen to the pundits, here is the Patriots “OLD DEFENSE”:
    Seymour 29
    Wilfork 27
    Warren 27
    Vrabel 33
    Bruschi 35
    Woods 26
    Mayo 22
    Sanders 24
    Merriweather 24
    Hobbs 25
    O’Neal 31
    Average age of this aging defense, 27.5 years old. This isnt a defense that is too old to stop someone, this is a defense that is too young and inexperienced to stop someone. But when look at the individual play of players like Merriweather, Sanders, Mayo, Gary Guyton, etc, this team is only going to improve over the next few years

  47. Casanova says: Nov 14, 2008 1:08 PM

    Pats fan here…
    I think the kid’s got potential to be a decent starting qb for someone… He’s better than Jamarcus Russell, Vince Young, and some other high 1st round picks… I don’t know who the big #1 qb is in this year’s draft, but if I was a gm I’d be inclined to give that kind of money to a younger, veteran qb like, with a few starts under his belt like Cassell than an unproven quantity out of college…
    But he could not possibly be in a better situation… He has a unique opportunity to really cash in.

  48. Radiofriendly420 says: Nov 14, 2008 1:08 PM

    This is really jumping the gun…
    Wasn’t he like…0 for 15 on passes over 20 yards or something? I don’t know if I would go offering him the farm yet.

  49. InDaBuff says: Nov 14, 2008 1:12 PM

    So, what would NE do if Cassel indicated that he would be happy to be tagged and sign the Franchise offer as soon as NE placed it. than they would have two of the paid paid QB’s in the league eating their cap space…

  50. GMenbacktoback says: Nov 14, 2008 1:13 PM

    the pats will not get rid of brady.. its as obvious for any idiot to know.. brady is a deal at what he is making and cassell will get just a little under the 10 million that brady gets.. you cannot compare the two and you cannot compare this situation with the brady bledsoe situation. as big as bledsoe was he was not at the time of his injury the best player in the league and the best star in the league.. they are not going to know bradys injury situation in time to give cassel a 8-9 million dollar contract that the jets might offer him just to stick it back to the pats again.

  51. lezmaka says: Nov 14, 2008 1:46 PM

    If the Pats don’t keep him, and he is not willing to be a backup, he will end up with a “no-so-smart” team like the Lions.
    Why? Because the rest of the league should learn something from the Browns and Derek Anderson.
    With no pressure to keep the starting job last year, he played great. This year, he was the starter from the beginning and had to play to keep the job and couldn’t do it. Same thing with Cassell. He knows that Brady is the starting QB for the Pats when healthy, and doesn’t have that pressure. If he goes somewhere else to be the starter (most likely a crappy team as well) he’ll have all that pressure and a crappy team.
    I don’t know why they didn’t mention that angle in the post, especially considering they mentioned the Derek Anderson situation not too long ago.

  52. partner55416386 says: Nov 14, 2008 1:54 PM

    He is the first QB to throw for 400 yards, rush for 60 yards and lose.

  53. ampats says: Nov 14, 2008 3:00 PM

    Have to partially disagree with you Robo. The Patriots drafted O’Connell to step in next year hopefully as the #2 QB behind Brady BUT I do believe they may franchise Cassel for the SOLE purpose of gwwting a high draft choice in return I would guess a 2nd round pick. From an earlier comment,franchise players do not have to sign their tender to be considered franchised before July. A team may remove the franchise tag at any time. I can see a similar senario to what the Pats did with Tebucky Jones.

  54. Ghosty says: Nov 14, 2008 3:17 PM

    All this for a guy who barely beat out Matt Guiterrez for the backup spot in training camp.

  55. TCLARK says: Nov 14, 2008 3:38 PM

    Don’t forget. He has ONLY PLAYED IN 8 GAMES IN 7 YEARS!!!! He has shown HUGE progress in his past 5-6 starts. Tampa or Grudin will be drooling to have a much younger version of Rich Gannon to mold. He will be a starter. He will get better. For the record I wanted him cut 8-9 weeks ago. If it’s just the WR’s making him good, why does Matt Lienart SUCK? All the Dallas back ups SUCK? Fitzpatrick in Cincy isn’t even close with a good supporting cast. The kid can play. Givin more experiance he will only get better. Someone will give him the keys next year.

  56. Accipiter says: Nov 14, 2008 4:07 PM

    Can someone explain to me why people are saying Cassel has won himself a starting job next season? He is AWFUL on any pass over 15 yards. Just awful. He has no touch and can’t get it within 10 feet of a receiver. All of this while in the best possible situation (great offensive line, welker, Moss, Watson). How do you think he’d do without a buttload of pro-bowlers around him??

  57. jamieC says: Nov 14, 2008 5:59 PM

    Marshall Faulk is a moron (who needs to get over losing the Super Bowl to the Pats). This situation is nothing like the 2001 pats.
    Brady and Bledsoe are not even close to comparable, and neither are Brady and Cassel. People keep comparing Brady’s 2001 stats to Cassel’s 2008 stats, while ignoring that Cassel has 100 times more talent around him on the offense than Brady did in 2001.
    Oh, and you don’t get rid of one of the best QBs of all time just because someone else can do a pretty good job too.

  58. GR365 says: Nov 14, 2008 6:23 PM

    Cassel deserves a little respect, no?
    A GM with any brains, would think twice before drafting a QB(Miami, last draft) Smith San Fran, Carr in Houston and yes, even Vince Young, Tennessee The fiasco in Oakland???
    A great portion of playing Qb is between the ears. Cassel is smart and physically talented. He nearly pulled it off…The Jets needed OT and some calls go thier way to beat the(injured, Bradyless) Pats!

  59. mspeechez says: Nov 14, 2008 7:14 PM

    Cassel is dead weight. He cant throw long balls, he cannot judge the playing field, he’s just an interim solution until the REAL Patriot QB1 comes back. Cassel will always be QB2. Drop him trade him do away with him. The losses to the Jets and INDY were his fault for not getting into the endzone.

  60. Bradybunch says: Nov 14, 2008 7:17 PM

    The “system QB” posts are the most absurd things I have ever heard. Think about it JACK @SS”S. It’s a copy cat league. If the Pats had some kind of magical “system” that magicaly made average QBs Great, wouldn’t EVERY STINKIN TEAM BE DOING IT BY NOW??????? The Wildcat was introduced week 1. Most,if not all 32teams have incorperated a form of it into their own offence. Eight freakin years have gone by. Every NFL team has film of EVERY GAME they have played (and the Pats play more than 16 games per season unlike the rest.) You telling me there is this Magic system that nobody can figure out? Not even Romeo or Mangini Heck Wies could use a bit of magic himself in South Bend. I must be the dumb one. I thought maybe, just mabey, it has more to do with great talent evaluation (Scot Peoli) and a great development system. But I must be wrong. You guys are correct. I must be magic. |Is magic against the rules?

  61. gbrundage says: Nov 16, 2008 7:32 AM

    Lots of mediocre of back-ups have had good games and decent seasons, like Scott Mitchell, where a very good team expects little, risks little and makes the QB look much better than his actual competency because it is NOT relying on him to be a playmaker, just a placeholder. So far, most of his season has been excelling at throwing the ball four yards downfield to Wes Welker. Go past that comfort zone and he’s pretty scatter-shot.

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