Adam Schefter of NFL Network predicts that Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel will be looking for a contract that falls in the six-year, $65 million range once Cassel hits free agency in March.
That’s what Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently received, and the two quarterbacks have similar stats through similar playing time in 2008, their first seasons of on-field action. 
And they have the same agent, David Dunn.
But we see once big difference.  Cassel will be trying to get paid when the cash flows in early March, not while still having one-plus seasons under contract.  As a practical matter, then, he’ll be in position to command even more.
Especially if a scramble breaks out for his services.
As we recently explained, the Patriots probably would apply the franchise tag to Cassel, and then trade him.  (If nothing else, it would be a wise strategy for keeping him out of the clutches of the Jets.)  Still, a new contract would be part of the broader transaction, and the Rodgers deal could end up being the starting point for the discussions.


  1. Pats will franchise him because there are no projected QB coming out of the 1st round of upcoming draft. In this regard, Cassel’s value is at a maximum.. Franchising is an ideal situation because then you can have him play a few games if Brady’s return is delayed, then when Brady is ready to return, off Cassel goes, but then our picks would be from the ’10 draft, not the upcoming draft. I think this depends on how they feel about O’Connell’s status in Feb, as well as the projected position players coming up in the draft, and those that are projected for ’10. Plenty of factors in play, but if they franchise Cassel, they can take their time, and get in position to make the best move for the team.

  2. Talk about the stars alining. I mean could Tom Brady have gotten hurt at a more opportune time for Matt Cassel? The guy is literally 6 months away from getting a garbage(?) contract for the league minimum as a backup and now he is in the position to sign a Tony Romo type contract. Matt Cassel is spelled L-U-C-K-Y.

  3. not yet, dude. the pats are only 6-4 because you arent brady. and you cant play denver every week.
    if rodgers went down the pack would have had a 4-12 season.

  4. That sounds like a risky strategy by the Pats. To franchise him, don’t they have to pay the average of the five highest salaries at the position? You’re talking QB salaries, not LB salaries.
    So that means paying him to be about the third highest paid QB in the league. That limits the potential trading partners. And what is the trades don’t pan out? The Pats would be stuck with two high priced QBs. And potentail trading partners could actually use that leverage to their advantage because the Pats would have more to lose if the trade falls through that the other side.
    And if the Browns decide to go with Brady Quinn, they also will need to deal Derek Anderson, so teams could use that as leverage/back-up plan to show the Pats that they don’t have to cave to their trade demands.
    I don’t doubt that if Cassell is an unrestricted FA someone probably will offer him a lot of money. But not the amount of being franchised.
    Besides, when was the last time someone left the Patriots and was actually as good or better with their new team? There’s a good chance cassell would be a bust with a new team

  5. He can’t throw the deep ball and has difficulty throwing touch passes in the flat. I have a hard time believing he’s worth that kind of cake.

  6. Look at the QBs around the league. He may not be “worth” it, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get it. I don’t watch game film, so I don’t know what the scouts will say. Jamarcus Russell can “throw the deep ball.” How’s that working out?

  7. It is just the system in New England that makes him look decent. If he goes anywhere else, I honestly don’t think he will play well with any other team. As dbet said, he can’t throw a deep ball. Moss was wide open against the Jets and he overthrew him by a lot. The system is designed in New England to throw short passes and let the receivers get the yards after catch for first downs. Somehow, every other defense doesn’t get it though.

  8. Why would anyone give Matt Cassel ANY kind of big money contract? And by “anyone” I mean an NFL team, not a JV team like the Lions, Bengals, etc.
    He’s led a team that was 18-1 last year to a 6-4 record so far, which is good for 3rd place in the division. Doesn’t anybody remember Derek Anderson? He had ONE good year with no pressure to keep the starting job. As soon as teams had an entire offseason to study him and he has pressure to keep the starting job, he tanks.
    Plus, wherever he goes, it will be to a mediocre-to-awful team. What has he done this year that would give anyone the idea that he could lead a BAD team?

  9. Rodgers got a real money deal because he’s played like a better-than-average NFL starter. Cassell is somewhere between a good backup and a crappy starter. Not in the same league. Any team that gives him that kind of money is retarded.

  10. cassel? same guy that people were saying should be yanked for a #3 or #4 after weeks 3 and 4?
    His stock has risen $7M a week since then? What kind of idout would pay that? Um, Hello Al. Tavaris who?

  11. BGMan…it looks like you don’t understand the franchise tag.
    The average of the top 5 QBs would be a one-year offer for Cassel, not something that others would have to sign him to.
    If the Pats franchise Cassel, other teams could offer Pats a trade. After a trade is consummated, then that team could sign Cassel to any contract.
    The only way the actual average of the top 5 QBs comes into play, is if Cassel elects to accept the franchise tagged mandated one-year deal, which only guarantees one year’s worth of salaries.
    Also, the salaries that are used to average are the actual salaries of the players, they do not include bonus money. Remember, there are some players who signed big, long-term deals who got their money in the form of a signing bonus; that works against players accepting the one year franchise player offers.

  12. Can someone explain to me why people are saying Cassel has won himself a starting job next season? He is AWFUL on any pass over 15 yards. Just awful. He has no touch and can’t get it within 10 feet of a receiver. All of this while in the best possible situation (great offensive line, welker, Moss, Watson). How do you think he’d do without a buttload of pro-bowlers around him??

  13. “So that means paying him to be about the third highest paid QB in the league. That limits the potential trading partners. And what is the trades don’t pan out? The Pats would be stuck with two high priced QBs. And potentail trading partners could actually use that leverage to their advantage because the Pats would have more to lose if the trade falls through that the other side.”
    You’re missing the point. Nobody would trade for him without signing him to a deal… it doesn’t work that way. The franchise tag only applies in NE–the franchise tag is not traded along with him, and no team is going to give up the picks required in trade without having him secured via long-term contract.

  14. Cassel 2008 = Anderson 2007. Cakewalk schedule is making him look better than really is. Much as I despise NE, they usually evaluate talent pretty well. I can’t see them slapping the franchise tag on him. Also, isn’t it against league rules to franchise a player for the sole purpose of trading him?

  15. Matt Schaub, AJ Feeley, Daunte Culpepper … teams go nuts over QBs that even have the slight chance of helping them. Those three were traded for early picks and did nothing for their new teams. Cassel will be the next one. The winner, though, will be the Pats who will pick up yet another high pick or two or so in the next couple of drafts.

  16. Yeah, I’m not buying it either. Anyone of us would look good too with those wide receivers. He’s not worth it, and I’m a New England fan. I have no confidence in Cassel. None. I can’t wait for next year.

  17. This is obviously a rumor planted by his very own agent. first, he is not even that good. If you had Randy Moss for a WR, you would think that takes more than half the pressure off you. Want proof, look at Duante PullPecker.

  18. If Cassel’s looking for an Aaron Rogers type deal then I guess the Jets makes perfect sense. Brett Favre can announce he’s retiring, then they can sign Cassel, and then Favre will change his mind and want to start again, and then the next season Favre will announce his retirement again and then change his mind and Cassel will again be relegated to the bench and then Favre will announce he’s retiring, for real this time, and cry at the press conference and the Jets will announce its Cassel’s team and then Favre will again change his mind and want to come back to start and this long drawn out soap opera will ensue and then finally Favre will demand a trade and get traded and Cassel will have a chance to start.
    Hmmm – on second thought maybe Cassel might not want to say he wants an Aaron Rogers type deal.

  19. Boy, lots of haters out there. I am buying this. Cassel has had NO running game, a half ass effort from Moss, an old defense, and plenty of miscues from Gaffney and Watson. The kid is the real deal. Awesome arm, great mobility, very athletic. He has missed a few deep balls, but has had more catchable balls dropped. Remember Gaffney’s drop against the Colts? Cassel is very similar to Aaron Rodgers and a legit NFL starter. This is the feel good story of the year in the NFL.

  20. Mangini must knows this kid and will be wise enough if Brett Farve retires to go with the other Brett sitting the bench than another Patsies castoff that can’t manage outside the Bellicheat system.

  21. “Can someone explain to me why people are saying Cassel has won himself a starting job next season?”
    Because teams like the Lions, Bucs, 49ers, Jets, Vikings, Titans, Texans, Rams and others either have or could have ridiculously bad QB situations at the end of this year. Someone will pay Cassel, and they will do it because he’s better than what they have.
    And for those saying he’s a product of the system… I would say the system is actually what is limiting him. I am no fan of Josh McDaniels or his play calling. They are only giving Cassel about 25% of the playbook to work with and very specifically keep him in a possession oriented offense in an effort to kill clock. What you saw in the second half this week is what happens when they let him open it up more.
    He’s still a work in progress, but the good news is he gets better every week. So yeah, what you have seen is the product of a system… a system that has seen the #1, 2 and 3 RB not play much/at all most of the season and at just this past week saw the #1 S, LB and #2 DE miss the game as well. Thus the possession based system… keep the defense off the field…

  22. “Cakewalk schedule is making him look better than really is.”
    Ok, I’ve had about enough of this comment. Yeah, in their 10 games, they’ve played the Chiefs, Rams and 49ers. They have also played:
    Jets 7-3
    Jets 7-3
    Dolphins 6-4
    Colts 6-4
    Broncos 6-4
    Bills 5-4
    Chargers 4-6
    Total 47-46… .505%… those teams last year were .387%
    And the Chargers are way better than 4-6. So you tell me… what is so cakewalk about that schedule? If they played those teams LAST YEAR, it certainly would be cakewalk, but those teams THIS YEAR are a hell of a lot better then they were last year. So everyone can cut it with the SOS BS…

  23. DarthJay – You REALLY think the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills are great teams? Really? Or did they get to fatten their record by playing St. Louis, Oakland (who beat the Jets and gave Buffalo and Miami a run, btw), KC, SF, etc. You might want to see where those wins came from before you buy into any AFC East team’s record. I will agree that San Diego is better than 4-6. They got robbed in the Denver game, so they are a really a .500 team. Face it, LT is either still hurt or declining fast. He’s averaging less than 70 yards a game. Either way, he’s not scaring anyone this year.

  24. I think their winning percentage adds up to .505, and that’s about all there is to it. I think the entire NFL sucks this year, which is exactly why Tennessee is sitting there at 10-0 and exactly why every playoff team should have an equal shot at the Super Bowl with Brady gone. But it doesn’t really matter to me how you win the game, as long as you are winning. A win is a win is a win…

  25. DarthJay – Absolutely. You’re right, no matter who you play, or how they played, a win is a win. But this is a discussion of about Cassel getting huge bucks. Based on who he has played, are you really convinced he’s worth 10 million a year? That seems like a reach to me.

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