The New England Patriots have quite a few hot commodities on their roster right now, and they may be getting ready to deal the next great quarterback. And no, I am not talking about Tom Brady. To the best of my knowledge, Brady is not going anywhere.
But that doesn’t mean that teams will not be inquiring as to the availability of some of the back up quarterbacks on the Patriots’ roster.
The hottest commodities in today’s game are often players who are back up players on their current teams, but viewed as potential starters on another club. While the back up quarterback is often the most popular player with the fans, they are also viewed as potential saviors by other general managers and head coaches.
The problem is, they are often hit or miss. Some may do well filling in for the starter for a few games, cash in from another team through a trade or free agency, and then little to nothing throughout the rest of their careers. Scott Mitchell generally comes to mind first, but other names such as Jeff Hostetler, Steve Bono and Curtis Painter must also be mentioned.
Not everyone can be the next Jim Plunkett, Steve Young or Kurt Warner.
But taking that risk often will pay off for a team looking for an upgrade under center. With that being said, the Patriots could be holding not one, but two possible future pieces to the puzzle for a team looking for their next franchise quarterback.
Sitting behind Brady on the New England QB depth chart are Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett, both who could draw some interest. After all, Matt Cassel was a career back and a member of the Patriots before he went onto become a full time starter for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Pats do not have to trade either player. They have Hoyer for at least one more season, and Mallett was just drafted prior to last season. If anything happens to Brady, New England knows that they need a capable back up who could step in and still possibly lead this team to the playoffs, much like Cassel almost did when he filled in for an injured Brady.
But if New England wants to accrue more draft picks in the future, being that they actually used the majority of their picks in the 2012 NFL Draft instead of stockpiling for the future, then trading Hoyer and/or Mallett could be a viable option.
Hoyer could probably be had easier, since he is set to become a free agent after the 2012 NFL season. Mallett could possibly fetch more, even though he has less experience, because of his rookie contract. Either way, if a team loses a top quarterback during the preseason or early on in the regular season, expect quite a few teams to place a phone call to the Patriots.