When one thinks of elite quarterbacks in the NFL, players such as New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees often come to mind.
Other marquee players such as Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers, Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, Aaron Rodgers of the Super Bowl champion, Green Bay Packers can also be considered elite.
While other quarterbacks such as Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Schaub of the Houston Texas and Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys are considered borderline, they can also be considered in some football circles as belonging in the class of elite.
And with the promising play of Josh Freeman of Tampa Bay, Sam Bradford of St Louis, and Colt McCoy of Cleveland, they can be the faces of a new generation of quarterbacks to carry the NFL well into the 21st century.
Cassel, 29, was the former understudy of Tom Brady while in New England, was acquired in a trade in 2008 along with LB Matt Vrabel and a second round pick.
Cassel would throw for 3,693 yards, and 21 touchdowns after Tom Brady suffered a horrific knee injury, ironically against the Chiefs.
Since arriving from Foxboro, Cassel has thrown for 6,040 yards, 43 touchdowns and 23 interceptions, posting a QB rating of 81.4
Cassel would post career highs in touchdowns with 27 and a career best QB rating of 93.0
Based on these numbers, and pending the ongoing NFL lockout, there is reason to believe that Cassel will make the leap in 2011 and become an elite QB.
With the drafting of Pitt wide receiver, Jonathan Baldwin 21st in the 2011 NFL Draft, Baldwin can potentially become the new #2 receiver opposite Dwayne Bowe, and along with Dexter McCluster, Chris Chambers and tight end, Tony Moeaki form a potent passing attack.
Pro Bowl running back, Jamaal Charles, who was the second leading rusher in the league with 1,467 yards and will take a lot of heat of off Cassel in the running game and along with veteran Thomas Jones should make Cassel’s job a bit easier in 2011.
If Cassel can continue to put up numbers similar to 2010, then it will only be a matter of time before his name will be mentioned among the best quarterbacks today in the NFL.
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