I'll admit to being baffled by the idea that Matt Cassel, after a half-season of mediocre football, will be in line for a big payday come the offseason. Mantzouranis does a splendid job of explaining why it'll probably happen, but $9 million per, which is what Peter King suggested last night on NBC's Football Night in America, is an insane notion.
According to Football Outsiders, heading into Week 11, Cassel ranked 27th in QB efficiency behind Sage Rosenfels, Dan Orlovsky and Seneca Wallace. Of course, this doesn't include his masterful, "death by 1000 two-yard passes" effort last Thursday night, but one above-average performance doesn't suddenly make him an NFL starter, does it?
Well, King puts forth an idea in today's MMQB column, and NFL.com's Adam Schefter mentions it as well: Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will almost certainly get a few head-coaching offers this spring, and assuming he accepts one of them, he might want to bring Cassel along with him as package deal. I can see the preseason marketing material already: "Josh and Matt will save [insert name of chronically underachieving NFL franchise] one dump-off pass at a time!"
Anyway, Schefter's take:
The 32-year-old McDaniels has enabled New England's offense to survive the loss of its franchise quarterback, Tom Brady, and has been schooled in the Patriots way since 2001. Almost any team that could be in the market for a head coach - San Francisco, St. Louis, Minnesota, to name a few - also could be in the market for a quarterback.
Any team that hires McDaniels, already considered one of the top coaching prospects in the league, might have the inside track on Cassel.
Adam writes this like it's a good thing. I know, there are plenty of examples of forgotten-on-draft-day quarterbacks who went on to have wildly successful NFL careers, and Brady tops the list. But for every Marc Bulger or Jake Delhomme or Kurt Warner, there's a stadium full of guys who were late-round picks for a reason: they're not very good. Cassel's obviously better than that, but let's be honest, not by much. He's much closer to being out of the NFL altogether than he is to making the Pro Bowl.
That said, I won't begrudge the guy for taking nine million bucks. There have been worse transgressions.
Whichever Team Hires Josh McDaniels Could Also Get First Crack at Matt Cassel originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Mon, 17 Nov 2008 14:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.