6.) Matt Cassel 2005-2008
Even though Tom Brady played in this era, Matt Cassel was asked to step in and help when Brady went down in 2008. After a leg injury forced Brady to miss nearly the entire season, the Patriots called upon Matt Cassel to save the day. After being the backup for Brady for three seasons prior, Cassel had a strong understanding of how to win in New England.
In 2008, Cassel came on and led the Patriots to a 10-5 record as a starter. Despite getting to the magical 10-win mark, the Patriots actually missed the playoffs that season. Cassel went on to have an excellent season, as he totaled 21 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and 3,693 passing yards.
After the 2008 season, the Patriots ended up trading Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs for a second-round pick. The Patriots certainly sold high on Cassel, as he only had one good season with the Chiefs in 2010. Cassel looked like he was going to be the real deal after leaving New England, however, he never found the same success after leaving. Even though it was for just one season, Cassel performed really well for the Patriots. However, the rest of his career didn’t pan out like he would have liked.