Tom Brady Might Not Be Ready to Play in the 2009 NFL Season

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIDecember 28, 2008

Tom Brady is hurt, still.

Despite having no fewer than four operations on what's left of his left knee, Brady might need another.

The infections that attacked his surgically repaired knee have left scar tissue. The buildup of scar tissue might require yet another operation to correct and if that happens...

Well, we might not see much of Tom Brady in 2009 either.

This now puts the New England Patriots in a very interesting situation where the expense of keeping Matt Cassel might prove harmful to the salary cap, but his release could result in Cassel signing with a division rival like the Jets, leaving the Patriots with crippled Tom Brady.

What do they do?

That all depends on how well Tom Brady manages to heal between now and September.

If I were running things in New England, I'd release Cassel and either sign or draft a potentially good quarterback to fill the void.

New England fans have yet to realize that the positive production they have seen out of both Tom Brady and Matt Cassel these past two years have been a big result of having a brilliant system in place that benefits from the exploits of Randy Moss and the coverage he takes away from other receivers.

They'd love to believe that their past two starting quarterbacks are the main factor in New England's production. If you place a decent quarterback into their system in 2009, you'll get a similar result, much like you've seen out of Matt Cassel this year.

Then again, that all depends on Randy Moss. He isn't getting any younger and when his abilities begin to decline, so too will the fortunes of the Patriots. Without a healthy Moss to produce touchdowns and the threat he posses taking away passing coverage, whoever the quarterback might be will struggle.

It's a sticky situation, but the Patriots won't be very busy this January so they will have plenty of time to figure it out.