One Year wonder: Last year D Anderson, this year M Cassel

#1
Is Matt Cassel a one-year wonder or the next great quarterback?
That's what NFL front office executives are wondering in the event Cassel becomes a free agent or hits the trade market this offseason.
The fourth-year pro is coming off an outstanding 15-game stint in which he completed over 63 percent of his passes for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions after taking over for injured starter Tom Brady. His 89.4 passer rating ranked 10th best, ahead of Jay Cutler, Eli Manning and Brett Favre, among others.
"He looks like he has the tools to be a franchise-caliber quarterback," said a high-ranking AFC official. "He has the accuracy and athleticism to be a special player."
"When you watch how he progressed over the course of the season, you come away with the impression that he could be a special player," said an AFC personnel director.
Cassel spent his collegiate career backing up two Heisman Trophy winners (Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart) at the University of Southern California. He played in only 25 games as a collegian (completed 20 of 33 pass attempts for 192 yards), but was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft on the heels of a dazzling workout in front of pro scouts and a strong recommendation from Pete Carroll.
After spending three years as Brady's backup in New England, Cassel stepped in for the former league MVP to lead the Patriots to an 11-5 record. He entered the season with only 14 game appearances under his belt but finished with three games over 300 passing yards, including back-to-back games with 400 yards through the air.
While some would argue that Cassel was simply a byproduct of playing in a wide-open system that featured some of the league's best weapons at receiver (Randy Moss and Wes Welker), the argument doesn't undermine the fact he played well in place of Brady.
Cassel's terrific year has created an interesting situation for the Patriots when deciding what to do with him prior to free agency. As an unrestricted free agent, Cassel would be one of the most sought after players on the market, and the Patriots wouldn't receive any compensation. Using the franchise tag on him would cost the Patriots $14.65 million in 2009. Combined with Brady's $15 million cap number for 2009, New England would have $29 million (or 23 percent of the estimated $123 million cap) committed to the quarterback position.
Franchising Cassel would not only provide the team with insurance against a Brady setback in rehab, but also give the Patriots the opportunity to leverage Cassel's great year into a nice trade. (Teams that sign franchise players are forced to surrender two first-round picks to the free agent's former club, so most opt to use a sign-and-trade that often results in the former team receiving multiple high draft picks.)
Derek Anderson and Tony Romo are recent examples of young quarterbacks who turned a handful of solid performances into big pay days and starting jobs. Anderson, who entered the 2007 season as a backup to former Browns starter Charlie Frye, wound up as the league's ninth-ranked passer after taking over the job in the second week of the 2007 season. Anderson's impressive play (3,787 passing yards with 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 15 starts) not only earned him a Pro Bowl nomination, but also landed him a three-year, $27 million contract. Unfortunately for the Browns, Anderson didn't sustain his performance last season and found himself on the bench after a handful of uneven performances.
Romo may be the best example of a "one-year wonder" developing into a franchise quarterback. After supplanting Drew Bledsoe as the Cowboys starting quarterback midway through the 2006 season, Romo passed for 2,903 yards in 10 games with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on the way to his first Pro Bowl berth. He followed that surprising season by earning his second straight Pro Bowl bid in 2007 after completing over 64 percent of his passes for 4,211 yards with 36 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Though his numbers fell off the mark last season (61.3 completion percent, 3,448 yards, 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions), he has clearly proven he has franchise-caliber ability.
For any team that eventually settles on Cassel, there could be a bit of trepidation when it comes to depending on him to carry the hopes of the franchise.
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Matt Cassel made the most of his opportunity as New England's starting quarterback.
Damian Strohmeyer/SI
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</td></tr></tbody></table>"That's the trap when taking a chance on him," said an NFC personnel director. "You don't have an extensive history to study. He didn't play much in college, and this year is the only time that he has really been on the field. So you're making your judgments solely off one year of production. That's fine, but you don't know how he will respond to the different looks that he will face next year after defensive coordinators have spent an offseason breaking down his strengths and weaknesses. He may turn out to be a good one, but there is no guarantee that he will ever duplicate this season's production."


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#2
Re: One Year wonder: Last year D Anderson, this year M Cassel

NE must be pissed that Milen left Detroit

NE could do a lot with that #1 pick
 

MIKEH75

EOG Dedicated
#3
Re: One Year wonder: Last year D Anderson, this year M Cassel

remains to be seen but i think cassell would be a good fit maybe in minnesota or n.y. jets.
 
#4
Re: One Year wonder: Last year D Anderson, this year M Cassel

isnt NE franchising cassel and dishing his ass once they know brady is 100%?

kinda puts NE in a shitty position b/c they aren't sure about brady's time table so they cant dish cassel for a draft pick...could've seen them trade cassel to say the 49ers for their 10th pick...
 
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