In medieval times, people deemed mad by the townspeople were sent away on a "ship of fools," destined to be anywhere but there.
Such a practice does not exist today, but if it did, many within the borders of Patriot Nation would qualify for a one-way ticket on that ship.
They've called for Tom Brady to be traded.
Obviously, only madness would cause someone to want that.
Unfortunately, madness is the antithesis of reason. Therefore, trying to reason with these fools would be futile. However, it is important that we understand their line of thinking so that their ramblings can be isolated to seedy bars in Dorchester and the Art Bell show.
The Matt Cassel Effect
The success of Matt Cassel in 2008 has given some Pats fans a false sense of security. They assume that since one unproven quarterback can have a successful season leading the Pats, then any quarterback can do it. These people mistakenly conclude that past accomplishments predict future success.
There are some basic flaws to this line of thinking, however.
True, Cassel had never taken an NFL snap, but he had a potent, veteran crew around him. Even with the weapons, the Pats missed the playoffs that year, finishing 11-5 as compared to going 16-0 under Brady the previous year. Plus, the offense averaged 11 fewer points a game under Cassel (25.6) than with Brady (36.8).
Furthermore, they had trouble beating quality teams in 2008, only beating two playoff teams—the Miami Dolphins and the Arizona Cardinals. (The entire Cardinals organization should have been arrested that week for impersonating a football team.)
That being said, Cassel did do a good job filling in for Brady, but that does not guarantee that Mallett would fare the same.
The 49er Anomaly
If Joe Montana wasn't untouchable, then neither is Tom Brady, some may say. After all, Montana won four Super Bowls and never lost the big game.
Yes, seeing Joe Montana in anything but a 49er uniform seemed like blasphemy at the time, but the circumstances were quite different.
First, Montana was coming back from a serious elbow injury that caused him to miss the entire 1991 season and much of the 1992 one. And he was a 36-year-old man coming back from said injury.
Second, the 49ers were only a few years removed from their last Super Bowl win and were a veteran-laden team.
Last, but definitely not least, the 49ers had Steve Young waiting in the wings. Perhaps you might have heard of him. Moreover, Young was good. So good, in fact, he made the Hall of Fame.
Now I ask, how often does a team have two consecutive Hall of Fame quarterbacks? I'm guessing once. (It will be twice when Aaron Rodgers retires.)
The Patriots have Mallett, who hasn't thrown a meaningful pass in the NFL.
That doesn't mean that Mallett may not become the next Steve Young, but it's just as likely that Mallet becomes the next Steve Bono (or the next Sonny Bono, for that matter).
The Hershel Walker Trade or How to Build a Dynasty through Another Team's Stupidity
Before the Dallas Cowboys had Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and three Super Bowls in the 1990s, they had Hershel Walker and mediocrity in the 1980s.
For some reason, the Minnesota Vikings thought that it would be a great idea to inherit that mediocrity, so they gave away their future by trading a million draft picks for Walker. The Vikings got Walker and the tag of league laughingstock; the Cowboys got a boatload of draft picks and a dynasty.
The logic behind many people who want Brady traded is that the team could receive a ton of draft picks for Brady, ergo stockpiling the team with a bunch of talent like the Cowboys did.
Should Tom Brady be traded?
Such a move is analogous to cutting off the patient's head to save the body. Brady is the face and leader of that team.
It's also galactically flawed for a couple of other reasons.
First, this isn't 1989. Back then, there was no salary cap. A team with a billionaire owner could load up with talent and be able to retain such talent. Nowadays, the Patriots couldn't afford to have that many high draft picks. Granted, Belichick would parlay those high draft picks into several hundred mid- and late-round picks. Still, they eventually would run up against the cap.
Second, you need to find a team willing enough to mortgage its future for Brady. The Oakland Raiders have already made their annual foolish trade by overvaluing Carson Palmer, so they're out. The Washington Redskins might bite, but I can't see Robert Kraft doing that to Brady.
Lastly, just because the Pats get the picks doesn't necessarily mean that they'll do a good job filling their needs. Belichick hasn't exactly set the world on fire by drafting in the areas that they need to fix, namely a deep-threat wide receiver and a dominant lineman or linebacker pass-rusher.
Over the past few years, Belichick has missed on those pressing needs despite a bevy of picks. Therefore, having a ton of picks doesn't automatically equate into solid gold. And Belichick would no longer have Brady to bail him out after a couple of mediocre drafts.
Logically, the best move would be to allow Brady to finish out his career in New England, giving Mallett the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game.
However, the people who want Brady traded aren't logical, so it's no use trying to persuade them. Just learn how to recognize their mindless propaganda and to be proactive in influencing borderline rational people who may entertain the thought.
Those you can't save, let them know that there is a ship waiting for them in Boston Harbor.