The New England Patriots went 12-4 this year. They entered the season a Super Bowl favorite, and they reached the AFC Championship, still a Super Bowl favorite. They had a lackluster game against a Baltimore Ravens team that has given them lots of trouble, recently. The Ravens were underdogs, but they pulled the upset.
How can the Patriots fix their (minor) problems? By trading their best player, one of the best players of all-time at the most important position in the game! The one who just had an incredible year, again!
Seriously, a writer for the Eagle Tribune came to this conclusion (or, more likely, took this angle of trolling both Cardinals and Patriots fans). I wanted to look away, but the awfulness is just too seductive.
Let’s try and construct Mr. Hector Longo’s argument. Maybe, just maybe, he is making some sense.
Back in 2009, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick flirted with the adage that “nobody is untradeable,” when he dealt an in-his-prime, potential Hall-of-Famer Richard Seymour to Oakland for a first-round pick.
Nice premise! If Bill Belichick will trade an elite defensive lineman, why won’t he trade the guy who might be the best quarterback of all time?
Championship-starved — trust me, Belichick needs another Lombardi Trophy like I need air to breathe — since 2004, despite four trips to the conference title game and a pair of Super Bowl appearances, the Patriots have to contemplate this conundrum.
Are Tom Brady’s best days behind him?
Alright, a fair question (actually). But, so what?
My opinion? Yes. He’s still elite, top three or four. But he’s not the best of the best any more. We’ve seen too much in big games the last handful of years.
Can Belichick make enough moves to supply Brady with enough quality parts around him to capture the ultimate prize?
My opinion? No. While I believe they can compete at the highest level, particularly in the weak AFC, there are too many key holes to fill (more on that later).
Tom Brady is no longer a clutch quarterback. He is Benjamin Lebron Button.
So, without any further beating around the bush, it’s time for Patriots football CEO and head coach to consider what several million people probable deem unthinkable: Should the Patriots trade Brady?
I can hear it now: “Are you an idiot, Longo?”
probably probable think more than several million people deem this unthinkable, because no intelligent person has asked this question. The first question, that is. The “Are you an idiot, Longo?” question has certainly been asked re: this article, as Longo knows. Self-aware trolls are the most dangerous.
In this instance, after another January disappointment against a driven, rugged, physical but soon-to-be dismantled Ravens team, sending Brady away this off-season would be the best for all parties.
Oh, I see what you did there! The Pats were beaten by the Ravens, and the Ravens will be dismantled by the 49ers! This was troll inception, hiding the “49ers Will Win Easily, You Idiots” article within the “Tom Brady Lost A Super Bowl Last Year And An AFC Championship Game This Year ZOMG Trade Him” article. Clever. Self-aware. Is First Take hiring?
Brady, even at age 35, should command a deal of at the least Ricky Williams proportions (somebody’s entire draft) or maybe even to the extremes that the Vikings paid Dallas for Herschel Walker (two 1sts, two 2nds, two 3rds).
He’s right! An otherworldly quarterback would probably land you an entire draft. Perhaps more. If the Pats are lucky, they might find a Hall-of-Fame quarterback with one of those picks! It’s tough, but Belichick has done it before. Did you know, he drafted Tom Brady in the sixth round?
First and foremost, the Cardinals can’t hurt you. In the NFC West, Brady is as far away as possible. Unless he plays another five years — highly unlikely — the only place you’ll encounter Brady again on the field of battle is at a Super Bowl.
Trade Tom Brady to the Cardinals, so that the Cardinals can get to the Super Bowl. You see, by trading Tom Brady, the Patriots will ruin their chances at getting to a Super Bowl, so they’ll never have to play against Tom Brady!
The Cardinals have the ammunition to attract the Patriots to the negotiating table. Remember, they pick at No. 7, an attractive spot for this draft, which has already been fortified by over 70 underclassmen.
You know the old NFL adage: if you have an elite quarterback, trade him for picks in a year where there’s an underwhelming crop of quarterbacks.
Arizona also has incredible need. Most draftniks currently have the Cards dabbling with the likes of USC QB Matt Barkley or West Virginia’s Geno Smith in the first round.
Why take a shot and fail again, a la Matt Leinart? This franchise can have its own new face in a matter days, one that is proven and currently stands at the forefront of the game.
Arizona needs to sell tickets and develop interest that they haven’t had since Kurt Warner left town.
In the alternate universe where this trade actually happens, Longo will be able to write the same exact column next year, in reverse. The Cardinals didn’t win the Super Bowl with Tom Brady. He’s only the third-best quarterback in the league. Trade him to the Patriots; they need a quarterback and could sure use a guy like Tom Brady!
If you’re new coach Bruce Arians and you’ve got a choice, do you open your first real NFL head coaching job with Hall of Famer Tom Brady or the three-headed menace known as Hoyer/Skelton/Kolb?
OK WE GET IT THE CARDINALS WOULD TRADE FOR AN AMAZING QUARTERBACK.
This would not be one-sided. The Cardinals would get one of the game’s best quarterbacks to go with one of the best wide receivers in the game (Larry Fitzgerald) and become an immediate contender.
Tom Brady can turn the Cardinals into an immediate contender, but he will not help the Patriots win a Super Bowl. Logic!
The Patriots are 7-7 over their last 14 playoff games with a defense that has “improved” from 32nd to 31st to 27th overall in the last three seasons.
Stop proving yourself wrong, plz.
The move fits, if not for the entire franchise, but for Belichick, who at times appears uneasy with this pass-happy product we have come to know, adore and be summarily disappointed by in the playoffs.
GROUND AND POUND GROUND AND POUND.
Replacing Brady would be a chore. But it can happen. Better yet, you don’t have to replace him, just find a quarterback 75 percent as good as Brady, who can run an offense.
Just find a quarterback 75% as good as Tom Brady. Just do it. They’re right next to the eggs at the supermarket.
Find your guy in the draft. Give Ryan Mallett the reins if he is ready. Or seek a replacement elsewhere.
Remember that guy Matt Cassel? He led you to an 11-5 mark in 2008 when Brady was on the shelf. Chances are he could be had for a song in Kansas City, where he probably doesn’t fit into new coach Andy Reid’s system.
Shortly after the Super Bowl, Alex Smith will be seeking a new home. He was a couple botched punt returns away from leading the Niners to Super Bowl XLVI.
Oh, now it makes sense. Trade Tom Brady, acquire Matt Cassell. It’s all about buying low and selling high, you guys. You think there’s any way the 49ers would part with David Akers for Brady?