Report: Patriots to Franchise Matt Cassel

ESPN/Mike Lombardi is/are reporting that the Patriots will franchise Matt Cassel:

Michael Lombardi, a former NFL executive with several teams, reported on this week’s edition of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” the New England Patriots will put the franchise tag on Matt Cassel to prevent him from becoming a free agent.

In addressing the New York Jets’ precarious quarterback situation, Lombardi was asked if Cassel might be the guy to help them recover from the failed Brett Favreexperiment.

“The Patriots are way too smart, and I’ve talked to people in the organization,” said Lombardi, who worked in the Cleveland Browns’ front office when Bill Belichick was the coach. “They are going to franchise Matt Cassel. He’s an asset and they can control their ability to trade him if they franchise him.”

The franchise tag means the Patriots must give Cassel a one-year contract worth an average of the highest five quarterback salaries.

Cassel would make more money than Tom Brady, but the move would provide insurance in case Brady can’t rebound from his season-ending left knee injury. Once Brady proves he’s fit, the Patriots then could trade Cassel, getting something in return rather than losing him to free agency and coming away empty-handed.

While I wouldn’t take too much into this immediately, it looks like the Patriots may very well franchise Matt Cassel, which would be the smart thing to do of course.  It gives the Patriots insurance in case Tom Brady isn’t ready or isn’t what he was, it gives them the ability to gain value through a trade, and it prevents Cassel from going to a division rival like the Jets or Dolphins.

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8 Responses to Report: Patriots to Franchise Matt Cassel

  1. R1zzo23 says:

    I think this is a no-brainer move, epecially with some of the reports surfacing about Tom’s knee. Personally, I don’t think Brady is as behind schedule as many people believe, but he’s definitely going to be questionable going into the season.

  2. Rak says:

    I think this is the only move to do in this situation

  3. Jordan says:

    Whew! Not that this is a shocking move but it’s nice to see that it’s going to be done anyways. At least this way we can either keep him to start, whether it be for a few games or the season, or we can trade him for some value picks in the upcoming draft. If a trade happens I’m hoping we can get a first-rounder for him, but a 2nd and 4th is probably more likely. I’d like to see a trade with the 49ers so Cassel can go back to Cali, and maybe that gives us a good enough pick to draft USC safety Taylor Mays or Ohio State LB James Laurinatis.

  4. Jeff says:

    Now we just need to franchise Pioli

  5. R1zzo23 says:

    “Now we just need to franchise Pioli”

    Yeah that would be a crucial move if it was even possible. I wonder if Pioli will give Kraft a chance to match any offer the Browns give him.

  6. Rob says:

    Could the Pats trade Brady?

  7. R1zzo23 says:

    Could they? Absolutely.

    Would they? Now that’s a lamp of a different shade. The uproar in New England if we were to trade Brady would be outrageous. But, we have grown very fond of Matt so it could go either way. This question would have been more compelling had the Pats made the playoffs and Cassel continued his magic.

  8. CasselFan says:

    Matt Cassel just visited the guys at Five Four in Los Angeles and participated in their “Look Of The Week” as well as a quick Q&A. You can get more details about the visit by going to:

    http://www.fivefourclothing.com/post/January-Blog-Look_of_the_Week-2009/look_of_the_week-8

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