FanPost

Trade Brady?

It has been suggested by some that it is time for Brady to go. After all, he is getting older, and his playoff performances of recent have not been what they used to be. Emotionally, this move just feels wrong. He is the face of the franchise, and of the NFL- like Peyton Manning in Indy, it is hard to see him in another team's uniform. But sentimentality and emotions do not win championships, and as every one of us has learned at one time or another, this organization is far from sentimental. So perhaps it is time for a bit of rationality- is it time for this franchise to embrace a re-build- offensively as well as defensively?

So I decided to look at numbers, as they are perhaps the easiest way to notice if perhaps Brady is losing his edge, either overall or against the league. With thanks to football reference, the below are Brady's vital statistics.

Brady through the years (rank among other starters in parenthesis):

Year

Comp.

Attempts

Completion Percentage

Yards

TDs

Int.'s

Rating

Sacks

2001

264

413

63.9% (4th)

2843 (22nd)

18 (13th)

12 (23rd)

86.5 (6th)

41 (6th)

2002

373

601

62.1% (8th)

3764 (6th)

28 (1st)

14 (17th)

85.7 (9th)

31 (12th)

2003

317

527

60.2% (13th)

3620 (6th)

23 (10th)

12 (23rd)

85.9 (10th)

32 (10th)

2004

288

474

60.8% (17th)

3692 (10th)

28 (6th)

14 (12th)

92.6 (9th)

26 (19th)

2005

334

530

63.0% (8th)

4110 (1st)

26 (3rd)

14 (7th)

92.3 (6th)

26 (16th)

2006

319

516

61.8% (13th)

3529 (7th)

24 (5th)

12 (19th)

87.9 (9th)

26 (15th)

2007

398

578

68.9% (1st)

4806 (1st)

50 (1st)

8 (28th)

117.2 (1st)

21 (19th)

2009

371

565

65.7% (7th)

4395 (5th)

28 (6th)

13 (15th)

96.2 (9th)

16 (32nd)

2010

324

492

65.9% (4th)

3900 (8th)

36 (1st)

4 (40th)

111.0 (1st)

25 (20th)

2011

401

611

65.6% (3rd)

5235 (2nd)

39 (4th)

12 (18th)

105.6 (3rd)

32 (13th)

Interesting among these numbers are that Brady's completion percentage, yardage totals, and touchdowns show that he is still essentially the same quarterback he has been since 2007, and is actually a BETTER quarterback than he was during the Super Bowl years. He is NOT yet showing signs of decline. The only number that is a bit concerning is the sack rate, which has been creeping back up from it's low of 16 in 2009. However, perhaps this uptick, while dangerous in the sense that he is getting hit more is actually a GOOD thing, as it shows that Brady is not intimidated by standing back there, and thus is letting the play develop and using his feet to an extent to allow him to extend the play. He will never be particularly mobile, but he wasn't that in the Super Bowl years (or even before- he actually holds a record for the slowest 40 ever at the combine for a quarterback!).

While others have suggested that Brady is no longer as good in the clutch, that the old, ice water in the veins that he used to have is no longer there, this argument does not truly hold water. Football is far too much of a team sport to blame any one player alone for a team's failures. And statistics "in the clutch" always rely on such small sample sizes as to be statistically irrelevant.

And so we come back to the question at the start of this article- is it time to trade Tom Brady? The answer is almost unilaterally no. While Ryan Mallet may be the future, this is not the situation that the Patriots had in 2002, where Brady had shown in 18 starts that he had stomething- we have never seen Mallet in a regular season game situation and there is nothing in his past history to suggest that he is going to turn out to be the better quarterback, and the team is not spending a meaningful amount of money on him. Further, the amount of value the Patriots would get back if they traded him is highly unlikely to give them back what they would lose in giving him up.

Championships are difficult to get to, let alone win- heck, once you get a ticket to the dance, the any given Sunday rule applies, and all that you can hope for is that the ball bounces your way that day. As much as Brady had a hand in the loss, he also still very much has an opportunity to play a part in a bright future for this team. To trade him now (absent an absolute king's ransom that would never be offered) would be foolish and short sighted.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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