What Does The Future Hold For Matt Cassel?

Anthony MoreniContributor IJuly 5, 2009

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 7:  Quarterback Matt Cassel #16 of the New England Patriots looks on during their NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 7, 2008 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Chiefs 17-10. (Photo by Elsa Garrison/Getty Images)

Matt Cassel will make an estimated salary of over $14 million next year. Yet, I'll guarantee you that they don't choose to give him big money next year.

One word for the New England Patriots: interesting. It was a year in which we saw the famous bench-warmer since high school, Matt Cassel, take the reigns of the Patriots from the injured Tom Brady.

From Cassel last year, we got one of the greatest performances from a backup QB in the history of the game. Ironically, last offseason, there was speculation that he would be cut due to his absolutely horrid performance in the pre-season. Under no circumstances would any team in the NFL want Matt Cassel as their starting quarterback.

When Brady went down early in the first game of the season, many laughed at the thought of Cassel managing the team. Patriots fans did not share this enthusiasm. Through the laughs, the Pats managed to win 17-10, but it took a terrific goal line stand.

One lucky game, we pessimistic fans thought, and we prayed "The Golden Boy's" injury was not serious in any way. Our worst fears were realized when we found out that Brady not only wouldn't play the rest of the season, but it was a injury that could effect the reigning MVP's future.

Whether we liked it or not, we had to put all our trust in Cassel. All of it.

The very next game, against the arch-rival Jets, Cassel made his first NFL start against none other than Brett Favre. Though Matt threw no touchdowns, he was 16 of 23 for 165 yards, and threw no picks. After this win against the rival Jets, most Patriot fans had by now mustered trust for the career backup. He played well the rest of the season, just missing the playoffs because of the Jets' loss to Miami.

Sure, for a backup, this was a great season. But face the facts people. He had Moss and Welker, easily the best receiving tandem in the NFL today.

Half of his touchdown passes were to Randy Moss, who was coming off breaking the NFL's receiving touchdown passes last year. And 35 percent of his passes were to the NFL's leader in catches the year before. Aside from that, Welker averaged 10 yards a catch, with Moss averaging 15 yards a catch.

The Chiefs receivers on the other hand, are not Wes Welker and Randy Moss. In fact, they don't even have Tony Gonzalez anymore, who just so happened to be the core of their receiving group. For a tight end, that's sad.

Bobby Engram, who will likely lead this mediocre receiving core, is the only receiver with high-quality experience. Combine that with a unsure offensive line this year, and it leads us to the question, which potentially could be horrendous if four-time pro-bowler Brian Waters decides to leave the team. Ouch!

The only real utility for Matt Cassel, is of course, Larry Johnson, who has struggled with injuries in recent years. Right now, that looks like the only real strength for this offense who ranked 24th in yards per game and 26th in points per game.

The question is not how good will the Kansas City Chiefs be this year. The answer to that is pretty clear— they're rebuilding for the future. The question is, where will the future lead Matt Cassel?

In Kansas City, without Moss, or any savior (like last year) at receiver or offensive line, the answer is nowhere.