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Matt Cassel is waiting for the Patriots to make the first move and isn’t ruling anything out in terms of where he’ll play in 2009.
“I’m open to all options at this point,” Cassel told The Boston Globe. “We’re going to go out and explore all our options and see what is best for me and my career, and also what direction we want to go. Discussions haven’t started yet, so I wish I had more to go off of, and say, ‘This is what’s happening.’ We’re going into this thing with a complete open mind, and nothing is out of the question.”
The Patriots have a window between Feb. 5 and Feb. 19 to assign Cassel with the franchise tag, which would cost them $14.65 million.
Cassel said the team has not told him if it will use the tag yet, but if he does return, it’s clear he’ll be a backup to Tom Brady, who is reportedly on schedule to be ready for the opener.
“I just think if I’m with the Patriots, then it’s one of those situations where Tom is going to be playing,” he said. “I hope Tom is playing because he’s not only a teammate but he’s also a good friend of mine, and you want to see him return healthy and want to see him back out on the field. I think it’s good for the Patriots and I think it’s good for the NFL.”
UPDATE: According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Patriots will place the franchise tag on Cassel and then decide whether to trade him or keep him as a backup.

Permalink 24 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New England Patriots, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
  1. apeck says: Feb 1, 2009 10:28 AM

    Will this guy just say something to make us hate him already!

  2. mb691 says: Feb 1, 2009 10:35 AM

    Even though Cassel is saying all the “right things” he has been told to say the guy is a class act.

  3. wolverine21 says: Feb 1, 2009 10:38 AM

    if the pats cared even a bit about what was best for him they wouldnt be franchising him.
    way to stand up for yourself and not be belijunks puppet.

  4. carpkillah says: Feb 1, 2009 10:44 AM

    Is this guy a class act or what?

  5. JimmySmith says: Feb 1, 2009 10:54 AM

    One good season does not a QB make. (anyone remember AJ Feely?)
    Caution to the team that trades for Cassell because they are desperate at QB. They will pay too high of a price.
    I say let the Patriots tie up $30 million in cap space on one position. Matt seems to be a good name for the employee operating the video camera.

  6. kurt37 says: Feb 1, 2009 11:03 AM

    id trade brady, ya i know your all thinking are you nuts, but matt is younger and will be around longer, id think they could get a really good deal for brady. cant see them keeping both at that price in today’s economy.

  7. CaptainFantastik says: Feb 1, 2009 11:08 AM

    Is if Chris Mortenson has any clue whatsoever about what the Patriots are going to do. How many times has he had to backtrack on things he’s reported this year? As far as i’m concerned nothing coming from E!SPiN can be counted on as being anything close to resembling the truth.

  8. InfiniteJest says: Feb 1, 2009 11:13 AM

    He’s a safer bet than anything coming out of the draft.
    Also, the way he played in cold weather this year should have a few teams in the NFC north drooling.

  9. mikecal645 says: Feb 1, 2009 11:18 AM

    Pats gotta do whats best for them first. It is still not 100% that Brady will be back and playing well enough that they don’t need Cassel.

  10. Devils Advocate says: Feb 1, 2009 11:34 AM

    hey jimmy –
    yes i like your logic – oh you are such an intellect.
    yes it would be better if you needed a QB to pick one in the first round then trade for Cassel. Another, Ryan Leaf or Alex Smith perhaps. yes one of the many first round busts – perfect.
    yeah i would make you my General Manager tomorrow if I owned a team!
    look at the numbers you. Compare Cassel’s last 8 games to the first 8. Run the stats and compare them. All he did was get better as time went on. Way better.
    yeah Jimmy – you are right – your so damn smart.
    PS – Floyd Reese is already on record they want a one, a two and a three. (not that they will get it but they will get more than a two for sure – read it and weep Hatriots)

  11. icase81 says: Feb 1, 2009 11:36 AM

    If I was Cassel, I’d sign that franchise tag before the ink was dry. Don’t let them have a chance to rescind it. Get your $14 million GUARANTEED even if you sit on the bench. You know the organization would not hesitate to screw you if they got the chance, so get your money.

  12. PrettyFnTubular says: Feb 1, 2009 12:21 PM

    Panthers: PLEASE franchise Peppers then trade him for Cassel and a pick or two

  13. jersey73 says: Feb 1, 2009 12:27 PM

    Let’s see…$14.65 million to hold a clipboard next year? Meanwhile, the “legend” of how well he played this past season will endure. Then, after next season, when some other team really needs a QB, the legend will still be fresh in people’s mind and he will be valuable.
    There are plenty of examples of backups shining and then tanking (or not living up to expectations) the next year (i.e. Trent Edwards, Matt Shaub.) At least as a ridiculously paid backup, he can’t “hurt” his stock.

  14. superius says: Feb 1, 2009 12:45 PM

    wolverine21 says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 10:38 am
    if the pats cared even a bit about what was best for him they wouldnt be franchising him.
    way to stand up for yourself and not be belijunks puppet.
    I’m not sure why the Patriots should be concerned about what is best for Matt Cassel. Look, I’m not saying that they should be cold hearted and not take anything into consideration in regards to his situation at all, but the Patriots are a business.
    It is one thing to consider what helps Matt when they are deciding, it is another to say “hmmm you know the best thing for Matt is to just let him go to any franchise he wants, make his own deal. Maybe we’ll get to see him twice a year when we face the Jets if we just let him walk out the door…they need a QB.” Sure that might be the best thing for Matt but would be terrible for the Patriots. Employees are entitled to consideration, but not the most favorable consideration possible. The team needs to balance Matt’s needs with their own.
    * * *
    As for the trade Brady talk, people who are advocating that are complete idiots. I’m sorry, but it’s true. The people who say Brady should be traded need to take a long hard look at the season and what Cassel really did. He went 11-5 in the regular season against the easiest schedule the Patriots have had this decade. There were only a few legitimate teams (Colts, Steelers for example) and they lost all of those games. I don’t want to hear they beat the Jets and the Dolphins, those teams are terrible. The Dolphins had an even easier schedule than the Pats and the Jets are huge frauds. The Patriots didn’t beat a single legitimate contended this season and people are talking about trading T. Brady for this kid?
    Tom Brady went 16-0 in the regular season last year against a far tougher schedule.
    Tom Brady threw 50 touchdown passes last year.
    Tom Brady can actually go long to Randy Moss! I think this is important to note! Brady pretty much went long to Moss any time Moss was single covered last year. Cassel? Not so much. Look if you can’t go long to Moss, you simply cannot go long.
    Tom Brady is one of the greatest QBs in the history of the game. If you are going to dump him as soon as another QB makes some completions you don’t have any idea what you are doing.
    Finally, I like Matt. He did some good work this season. But let’s not forget what he has around him as a team. The offense and the weapons he had are some of the best in the NFL. Randy Moss and Wes Welker, for example. Tom Brady has done more than Matt has with FAR LESS. Brady took this team to the AFC Championship Game with Reche Caldwell as the team’s #1 WR. Matt Cassell couldn’t take the Patriots to the playoffs with Randy Moss as his #1 WR.

  15. Bradybunch says: Feb 1, 2009 1:01 PM

    For once Jimmy Smiths kind of right. See David Garrard.

  16. Darth Ringo says: Feb 1, 2009 1:12 PM

    He could very well be the starting QB for the Patriots next season too, whatever Tom Brady’s rehab being “on schedule” really means.
    Be interesting to see if McDaniels makes a play for him from KC.

  17. titans_fan says: Feb 1, 2009 1:22 PM

    Can he play DB? Cause that’s where the Pats really need help.

  18. Alpheratz says: Feb 1, 2009 1:59 PM

    superius, are the Cardinals a legitimate team?

  19. superius says: Feb 1, 2009 2:07 PM

    Alpheratz says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 1:59 pm
    superius, are the Cardinals a legitimate team?
    No they are not – at least, they weren’t when they faced the Patriots.
    Yes they made the Super Bowl, but even the Cardinals said: We weren’t even playing, we were just working on things. It was the loss to the Patriots that woke us up.
    In other words, they were not even playing when they played the Patriots.
    If a team went 14-1 in the regular season and then decided to rest all their starters in week 17 and they lose (ie pulling an Indy where they rest everyone pre playoffs). Would it be credible for the other team to say “we beat a contender” – no it wouldn’t be credible. The same holds up for Arizona.

  20. Bob Zombie says: Feb 1, 2009 2:46 PM

    “icase81 says:
    If I was Cassel, I’d sign that franchise tag before the ink was dry. Don’t let them have a chance to rescind it. Get your $14 million GUARANTEED even if you sit on the bench. You know the organization would not hesitate to screw you if they got the chance, so get your money. ”
    I totally agree with that. Nobody else is going to give you that much money for one year. Take it. You might get some inflated signing bonus from some other team, but you have to stick out that deal for years to get it all… unless you get cut.
    Cassel has the Pats by the nads, so take the cash and say all the right things about Patriot Nation (barf), how much more you can still learn from Brady, and how much the community means to you. Then hit the market next year, or take another $14mil in 2010 from Kraft. Of course by then it will probably be $16mil.

  21. favrewillplay4ever says: Feb 1, 2009 3:02 PM

    superius, i am in agreement with you. cassell had a fine year. he had a fine year for a backup to come in and play, but tom brady he is not. brady has the competitive drive that has made him a starter basically his whole career with the pats and wolverines. when you mention elite playoff quarterbacks the three names that come to mind are terry bradshaw, joe montana, and tom brady.
    the fact is that you do NOT trade montana, bradshaw, or brady for a younger player. if it was towards the end of brady’s career, i’d say MAYBE (like with jo mo), but you cannot trade him just because cassell outperformed expectations. he played one season in the last 7 years as the starter. he had superior talent around him. he had a great line. awesome receivers and even better coaching. does anyone think he is going to go to a “building” team and play like this? keep him as the backup if they aren’t 100% sure brady is going to be fine come the start of the season, but build your team around him? HELL NO.
    it would be a travesty for the patriots to trade brady because he was hurt last year. he is the face of that franchise. he is their leader. he has consistently outperformed almost every other quarterback in the league for the last half dozen or so years.
    this is coming from a person that is not a patriots or tom brady fan. the fact is that opposing teams FEAR playing brady, they do not fear cassell. they thank god that they faced the patriots without brady.
    the dolphins supprised some people this year, but when brady is healthy and playing next year, it is the most sure division championship in all of football. regular season aside, there is also no other quarterback that you would rather have in a clutch post season game than tom brady.
    to put it in perspective for fans of baseball as well as football, brady is more the face of the patriots than jeter is the face of the yankees. only he is 10x the factor of whether they win or lose in the post season.
    brady has played so well that i would hate to see a slighted brady that somehow got traded. he would not only have his playoff composure, he would have spite and the revenge motivating him. it would be the biggest mistake in sports to trade the guy. end of story

  22. onanygivensunday says: Feb 1, 2009 6:58 PM

    @ JimmySmith
    I guess you have what is called a selective memory. If my memory serves me right Tom Brady was backup to the cemented Drew Bledsoe, and I think Tom took the team to the SuperBowl that first year he
    became their QB. So I guess you can say one good season can make a good QB. Your reasoning sucks. Your just another hater who would do anything to get a piece of the Patroits pie.

  23. ncpeters says: Feb 2, 2009 12:00 PM

    Darth Ringo says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 1:12 pm
    He could very well be the starting QB for the Patriots next season too, whatever Tom Brady’s rehab being “on schedule” really means.
    Be interesting to see if McDaniels makes a play for him from KC.
    Seeing as McDaniels is in Denver it’s unlikely. Maybe you meant Pioli. Franchising Cassel is the only thing that makes sense. Odds are Brady will be fine, but what if he gets an infection in May and needs surgery? He’d immediately be out for the 2009 season and without Cassel the team would turn to 2008 3rd round pick Kevin O’Connell. Franchise him, and let another team sign him to an offer sheet and take their pick. Another possibility is Cassel signing something like a 2 year/$20 million contract and be the heir to Brady a la Montana/Young.

  24. JZuluaga1 says: Feb 2, 2009 10:32 PM

    Anyone remember when ESPN reported that the Patriots were angry at Brady for getting surgery in California? Why should we trust them now?

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