I posted this in another forum...thought it might be worth sharing here... This is not an exact parallel (there aren't many exact parallels when you're talking about a lock HOF QB like Brady), but consider these two situations... (1) Green Bay. In 2004, the Packers went 10-6 and won their division. 35-year old HOF QB Brett Favre had a big year: 4088 yds, 64.1% completions, 30 td. Clearly he was no longer a spring chicken, but he was obviously still an excellent NFL QB. That following draft (2005), they pick Aaron Rodgers in the 1st round with the 24th overall pick. Favre stays in Green Bay for 3 more seasons, declining in 2005 and 2006 before rebounding with a really good 2007 season (4155 yds, 66.5% completions, 28 td). Rodgers, meanwhile, accumulates a total of 59 passing attempts during those last 3 seasons Favre is in Green Bay. Finally, in 2008, after the Packers went to the NFC Championship Game, Favre leaves and Rodgers becomes the man. Three years later, he leads the Packers to a SB title and is considered to be one of the best QB in the league. (2) San Francisco. Steve Young's NFL career (after a brief time in the USFL) gets off to a rocky start with Tampa Bay, as he puts up two seasons' worth of a whole lot of not much. But the 49ers acquire him before the 1987 season to be Joe Montana's backup. Montana is tremendous from 1987-1990, leading the 49ers to a 51-14 record, four playoff appearances, and two SB titles. Young spells Montana from time to time as Montana suffers injuries here and there, and Young plays well in those moments. Montana then gets hurt in 1991 and Young, at age 30, becomes the primary QB. Over the next few years, after Montana moves on to Kansas City, Young emerges as one of the best QB in the league, leading SF to the SB title in 1994. He ends up going to the Hall of Fame himself. So two of the greatest QB of all time, Brett Favre and Joe Montana, ended up leaving the teams where their legacy was created, and those teams had prepared replacements for them....you know, just in case. And both those teams spent significant currency (for GB, a #1 draft pick; for SF, the trade cost them a 2nd and 4th round picks to get Young) preparing for the day when they would need to replace their HOF QB. The Patriots have a HOF QB that is now 34 years of age. Like Montana and Favre, their HOF QB is playing at a very, very high level (obviously), so it seems like the days of the inevitable decline are a long ways off. But they just had the opportunity to take a supremely talented QB (rated by many to be the most talented QB in this draft) that has an outstanding football mind, to play the role of Steve Young or Aaron Rodgers. And all it would cost them was a single 3rd round pick. Not a 1st round pick. Not a 2nd and a 4th. But a single 3rd round pick. Talents like Mallet's don't come around for that price too often, and it was just too good a deal to pass up (no pun intended). Mallet has the talent to not only emerge as a legitimately good NFL starting QB in due time; he has the talent to be a very useful QB in the immediate future, should Brady suffer an injury. Perhaps in years past Brady would still play despite being very banged up because the other options were, um, less palatable. But if Mallet is really that talented, maybe Brady could miss a game or two a year and the team wouldn't miss too much, because Mallet would have the skill to lead the team to a win anyway. And that might allow Brady to be less banged up for the playoffs, and a fresh and rested Brady is better than a beaten and banged up Brady. So while the situations aren't exactly analogous, they're similar enough to illustrate the point that this probably will turn out to be a really good and shrewd move by the Patriots for 2011 and beyond.