Thank the football gods that the Patriots drafted Kevin O'Connell, because after this year, the odds point to Matt Cassel leaving Foxborough.
Not many Boston faithful want to think about it right now, but Cassel’s future is undeniable. He has proven both to Patriots fans and the nation that he is more than a serviceable NFL quarterback—he is a damn good NFL quarterback.
Here are five QB-desperate teams who would be more than willing to pay his new price:
I hate to imagine it, but with Favre in his waning years, and Kellen Clemens not living up to expectations, Mangini will do all he can to swipe the Patriot and add to the rivalry. As a fan, I hope Cassel will at least be considerate enough to stay out of the Meadowlands, but we’ve seen traitors before.
It’s no secret that Detroit desperately needs a quarterback, and Cassel would fit their needs perfectly. With Matt Millen gone, and the superb talent at wide receiver, Detroit shows a lot of promise for a young quarterback who hopes to become a franchise player.
Tarvaris Jackson can’t play at a high level, and Gus Frerotte is too old. The Vikings need a change at signal-caller, one who will provide a true NFL pocket presence to a team who for too long has relied on mediocre quarterbacking. Cassel provides that presence, and would reshape the offensive philosophy of the "Purple People Eaters."
The Bucs can’t live off Garcia forever. Even with the ageless carrot top, Tampa Bay quarterbacks have only thrown for nine touchdowns this year. Cassel would provide an instant upgrade to the passing attack down in Raymond James Stadium—and more importantly, some stability and longevity in a quarterback position that has undergone tremendous change over the past few years.
5) St. Louis Rams
This is a stretch, but certainly possible. Marc Bulger is 31 years old now, and the Rams are in desperate need of change. The WR corps is not that attractive to Cassel, but Steven Jackson is certainly an attraction. Both players would help the other tremendously in opening the field.