Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up with quarterback Ryan Mallett (15) in the third quarter of the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
(‘Positional Breakdown’ will be a new feature on ‘Musket Fire’ every couple days I will breakdown each position on the Patriots, who the Pats will have next year and what they may need heading into next season.)
Under Contract for Next Year: Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Mike Kafka
When looking at the Pats roster, the one spot you do not need to worry about is the Quarterback position. Despite getting up there in age, Tom Brady is still playing at an elite level and arguably is the best QB in the game today. Last season Brady threw for 4,827 yards, 34 TD’s, and only 8 interceptions. He directed easily the best offense in the NFL, and did it without his two TE’s healthy for much of the year. He has so many great traits, you don’t even know where to begin, but the thing that sets him apart from everybody else is not his physical skills, but his mental skills. Brady’s ability to read defenses and know where the best matchup will be is unrivaled in the NFL. I do not expect Brady to slow down anytime soon, and the Pats look to be in great shape for next season.
Mallet does not get much playing time in the regular season, that is part of the deal when you sign on to a team that has a QB like Tom Brady. However, from what we have seen in preseason action and from his college days, Ryan Mallett looks to be a great prospect that would be capable of playing solidly if Brady were to go down. He has a rocket of an arm, and can make any throw on the field, however he is not very mobile, lacks pocket presence and makes a lot of questionable decisions throughout the game (turnovers). After saying all of that, Mallett has an opportunity of a lifetime to learn behind one of the greatest to ever play the game in Tom Brady, and he should turn out to be a good QB.
Kafka was signed to a ‘future contract’ with the team slightly after the Pats loss to the Ravens, however I highly doubt he sticks around to the opening day roster of next year. The Patriots like to keep just two QB’s active during the season, they usually prefer to use that extra spot for an extra O lineman or a special team player.
There have been rumors concerning trade options with Ryan Mallett, but I just do not see them happening until Mallett gets more significant playing time, that way other teams can see how he handles a game speed situation. Tom Brady is one of the best ever to play the game, and with him the Pats will always be contenders. Coming off a pretty bad loss to the Ravens in the postseason, the Pats have a lot of questions, but as long as Brady is at the helm quarterback will not be one of them.