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Matt Cassel has made Tom Brady an afterthought. Only time will tell whether Cassel makes Brady a 49er.
Rain or snow, Cassel continues to shine. He has overcome adversity and adverse weather conditions the last two weeks in leading the Patriots to wins that have kept Bill Belichick's team in the playoff hunt.
Cassel has impressed the not-easy-to-impress Belichick. But has he impressed the organization to the point where the Patriots would consider trading Brady?
At 26, Cassel is five years younger than Brady and doesn't have a fragile knee. Those are undeniable facts the Patriots will consider after the season.
Cassel is in the final year of his contract. The Patriots could let him go or slap the franchise tag on him trade him for a first-round draft pick.
At this point, it's uncertain what the Patriots will do with Cassel. But a part of me is wondering what they will do with Brady.
Cassel's numbers in his first season as a starting quarterback are similar to Brady's stats in 2001 when he permanently replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe, who was the face of the franchise.
Cassel has completed 63.8 percent of his passes and thrown for 3,270 yards with 18 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a QB rating of 87.1 In Brady's first season as a starter, he posted a 63.9 completion percentage and threw for 2,843 yards with 18 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and an 86.5 rating.
So there are just as many teams, maybe more, that would love to have Cassel as their starting quarterback. There's at least one in the AFC East. So it seems highly unlikely the Patriots would let him go and watch him sign with the Jets.
Belichick would rather see Brady in San Francisco than Cassel on the opposite sidelines in the Meadowlands.