As several readers have pointed out, the calculation we posted earlier in the day for the 2009 franchise tender at the quarterback position omitted the 2008 cap number of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose new contract executed during the season put him among the five highest-paid quarterbacks of the year.
By way of background, the non-exclusive franchise tag requires a tender based on the five highest-paid players at the same position from the prior year.  The exclusive version of the tag, which precludes the player from negotiating with other teams, uses the current year’s cap numbers.  The current year’s numbers typically are higher — and they can increase as other deals are done.
Rodgers’ 2008 cap number was $13,957,419.  This number bumps Brett Favre’s $12 million cap number from the top five, and it pushes the 2009 franchise tender at quarterback from $14.4 million to $14.835 million.
Thus, if the Patriots place the franchise tag on Cassel, they’ll be required to carry $14.835 million in cap space until they trade him, rescind the tag, or sign him to a long-term deal.


  1. so, if someone what top 5 avg for a current year is less than the previous year, the exclusive tag will have less a value than the non-exclusive one?

  2. Is anyone else disgusted that one of the 5 highest paid QBs in the league has started a total of 16 games in his career… and lost 10 of them. Why does Ted Thompson still have a job?

  3. … which in turn moves him from being paid slightly less than Brady to being paid slightly more than Brady.
    I wonder what Tom Terrific will think of that…

  4. There’s one potential caveat here. I’m not sure if it’s been taken into account or not, but it might affect the number (specifically, driving it *down*; emphasis mine):
    “For the purpose of [determining the franchise numbers], ‘Salary’ means the total of the Paragraph 5 salary . . . , roster and reporting bonuses, pro-rata portion of signing bonus, and other payments to players in compensation for the playing of professional football for the applicable year of the player’s most recently negotiated Player Contract, EXCEPT FOR PERFORMANCE BONUSES other than roster and reporting bonuses.”
    In other words, any incentives in those numbers may need to come out, which would drive the numbers down.
    In any case, we’ll know for sure in about four weeks.

  5. Milhouse says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 12:46 am
    Holy crap!
    Rodgers made how much?
    For 6-10?
    And Carson Palmer made $13.98 million for 0-4.

  6. <>
    No, by rule it has to be the same or greater.
    Not if they find a trade partner.
    He at least earned this year’s salary for having to suffer through however many Favre Annual Retirement Tangos. 🙂
    He’s got to earn next year’s money, though, IMO.
    Nothing, since the “Top 5” numbers are salary cap numbers, not actual $$ amounts paid. Brady’s only scheduled to receive about $8M from the Patriots in 2009; in fact, in 2007, A$ante $amuel had a higher cap hit than Brady did.

  7. Please! oh please, oh please Matt! Sign the freakin deal as soon as its placed in front of you!!!

  8. If the Pats tag Cassell, he should immediately sign it. That will be the only time he ever sees that kind of cash from an NFL team.

  9. Please! oh please, oh please Matt. Sign the freakin deal as soon as its placed in front of you.

  10. Blah, Blah, Blah
    Rodgers is 6-10, blah, blah, blah. I thought they were the Green Bay Packers and not the Green Bay Aaron Rodgers.
    Hate on management all you want for the Favre fiasco, but don’t hate on our next QB if you are actually a Packer fan (which many of you obviously are not). It wasn’t his fault any of this happened. It wasn’t solely his fault for 6-10. Sorry if you really wanted it to be.

  11. I thought that if you franchised a player, you couldn’t trade him. If that’s not it, then which tag is it?

  12. jhitchins1 says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 11:17 pm
    Is anyone else disgusted that one of the 5 highest paid QBs in the league has started a total of 16 games in his career… and lost 10 of them. Why does Ted Thompson still have a job?
    Aaron Rodgers had 28 TDs and 13 interceptions.
    Favre had 22 TD’s and 22 interceptions.
    It seems to me that the Packers made the right move.
    The Packers were 8th in offense and 20th in defense.
    The offense was not the problem, the defense was. Since Rodgers plays on offense, I doubt you can blame him for the Packers lousy record.

  13. Holy crap! Carson Palmer made how much? For sitting out most of the year? Favre made how much? For throwing 22 picks and 9 in his last 5 games? Manning made how much? To be carried by his running game and defense?
    Rodgers made how much? For finishing in the top 6 in yards and TDs while having a terrible pash rush and run defense? Give me a break, Rodgers was the least of Thompson and the Packers’ worries this year.

  14. Or, maybe Cassel and the Pats work out a contract, making him the heir to Brady’s throne.
    Cassel has proven to be a smart, patient guy, who works for a smart, patient organization. An organiztion that needs insurance if Brady isn’t recovered enough to be effective the first half of 09.
    Cassel just may be smart enough to know that a bigger payday may not be worth getting slammed to the turf in city X or Y while throwing to receivers nobody has ever heard of. He may have confidence enough in himself and his team to know that the millions will come, with a greater possibility of jewelry with it.

  15. Waiting for someone to write, “Tom Brady made how much for playing less than a half of one game?”
    The Patriots worst fear is seeing the Jets sign Matt Cassel. The Pats probably won’t see any compensation in this. Compensation enough would be seeing Cassel sign with a team on the west coast.

  16. ‘That seams like a lot of cash for a guy that could ride the bench’
    you pay someone that kind of money…. he’s going to play.

  17. can they even mathematically tie up that much cash between two players? The only thing I’m fairly certain of is that Cassel will not be a patriot next year (nor will he ever be this good again).
    The pats can’t afford to keep him AND brady, and cassel has an opportunity to get a good multiyear payday. He’ll sign that tender, but only if he’s traded within 24 hours.
    That said, he’s got a great grasp on the pats system. Wherever he goes, he’ll be exposed as a mediocre QB, and some GM will (rightfully) get canned for it.

  18. Okay, I think they have to tag him to insure that they get decent trade value for him, but am I the only one a little disturbed by the fact that his tag number gives him a higher cap number than Brady?

  19. Keeping in mind these folks, Scott Mitchell, AJ Feely, and Gus Ferrotte, would you pay Cassel 15 mil for one year or 30-40 mil guaranteed in a contract?

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