Tom Brady's Contract Situation Could Become Unnecessary Distraction for Patriots The Patriots have been one of the most successful franchises in the NFL since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994. One of the most significant reasons for that has been their consistency at the quarterback position, which has been dominated by Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady for the majority of the last two decades.

How does New England's quarterback situation look for 2010? Much of the same, and that’s a great thing for the Patriots.

Quarterbacks on Roster: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Zac Robinson

Available Roster Spots:
It's a gamble to keep just two quarterbacks, but it worked out fine in 2009.

Key Statistic: By statistical standards, Brady had the second-best season of his career in 2009. He recorded 4,398 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and a 65.7 completion percentage. Brady's only better season in all three categories came during his record-setting 2007 campaign.

Position Battle to Watch: Robinson versus himself. He won't beat out Hoyer for the No. 2 job, but Robinson has an opportunity to prove he is worthy of a third-string gig. Robinson had a poor rookie camp, but he showed improvement during spring practices. His job is simply to play well enough to keep the Patriots from signing a fourth quarterback. He'll then hope to earn a spot on the active roster or practice squad.

Hot Topic: Brady's contract expires after the 2010 season, and it would be shocking if the two sides don’t reach an extension by the end of the summer. Of course, Brady is too professional to turn this into a public war during the season, but this story will only grow by the day if an extension isn’t reached. Every team in the NFL is making cautious business decisions because of the labor uncertainty beyond 2010, but the Patriots can't afford to let Brady walk into free agency. Lock him up, and bury the story.

*** will be breaking down the Patriots by position.

Wednesday, July 21: Running backs