REPORT: PATS TO FRANCHISE CASSEL

With New England quarterback Matt Cassel set to become a free agent — and with two key current members of the organization, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and V.P. of player personnel Scott Pioli, possibly heading to new teams — the Patriots are prepared to slap the franchise tag on Cassel.
Former NFL exec Mike Lombardi said on the most recent edition of Showtime’s Inside the NFL that the move will be made.
“The Patriots are way too smart, and I’ve talked to people in the organization,” said Lombardi, via the Providence Journal.  “They are going to franchise Matt Cassel.  He’s an asset, and they can control their ability to trade him if they franchise him.”
Though the move will result in the quarterback position commanding upwards of $26 million in cap space for 2009, it’s the right decision, regardless of whether it’s a hedge against Tom Brady not being healthy or it’s a strategy for getting something of value in exchange for Cassel.
The franchise tender for Cassel will be based upon the average of the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the league.  It’s expected that the number will be in the range of $12 million.
The amount becomes fully guaranteed if Cassel signs the tender.
Though the move might be nothing more than an effort to ensure that the Patriots will receive significant compensation by trading Cassel, we still wouldn’t be surprised if Cassel and the Pats work out a relatively short-term deal, perhaps only two or three years in duration, aimed at keeping him around until it’s clear that Brady is back to 100 percent — and giving Cassel a crack at becoming the Steve Young to Brady’s Joe Montana.

49 responses to “REPORT: PATS TO FRANCHISE CASSEL

  1. Call me crazy but i have a feeling that Cassell will be the last man (QB) standing in New England, and Brady will be outside looking in when its all said and done. Would not surprise me one bit if Brady is the one that gets traded when he’s healthy and Cassell is the QB of the future there.

  2. If I were Cassel, I would sign that tender so fast it might catch fire. While he may be able to swing a deal for 30mil in gauranteed money if a free agent. One year at 12 mil and free agency in a potentially uncapped year would mean in the next 18 months he could be looking at 45-60 mil in gauranteed cash. Pretty dame nice for 16-20 starts in the NFL.

  3. How would Mike Lombardi know? He’s not a reporter, guy. I watched him as he said it. He was expressing his opinion about what he believes they should do, not what they WILL do. Are you this starved for news that you just start turning opinion into fact?

  4. Call me crazy but i think Matt Cassel will be the last man (QB) standing in New England when it’s all said and done. Would not surprise me one bit if Brady is the one that ends up getting traded when he is healthy. Especially if he’s not ready to go when the season starts and Cassel picks up right where he left off this season.

  5. Okay here is how I look at the move. It is either good news or bad news:
    Good News: Cassel will be traded this offseason for a first and third round pick in a draft that could be stacked if these red shirt sophomores come out.
    Bad News: Brady’s injury is behind to the point where he could miss another season and if he misses two straight seasons I doubt he will ever be the same and it may be time to move forward with Cassel.
    Well bad news for pats fans, everyone else will be shedding tears of joy cause about 96% of the site hates the pats but you get the gist.

  6. Good luck upgrading that D with all that $ dedicated to the QBs. If I were Cassel, I’d sign that tender right away. I wonder how Tommy’s gonna feel about his backup making more than double his salary?
    Also, I agree that Cassel’s the next Scott Mitchell…

  7. The only problem with this scenario is the amount of money left in the kitty after paying the QB’s.
    Not much is left for everybody else.

  8. Actually all that Young and Cassel have proved is that Brady and Montana were good system QBs who were a product of their systems where any QB can plug and play.

  9. He’d be wise to stick around NE… he’d be garbage anywhere else.
    He played the easiest schedule in the NFL… and got beat by almost every playoff team they played (Pitt, Ind, SD, Mia).
    System QB with 2 Pro Bowl-caliber WRs to throw to.
    Besides, I’d love to see NE waste $12 mil in cap space for a guy in a baseball cap holding the clipboard.

  10. Ok Badassbuckeye, I’ll call you crazy. No way they trade Brady away if he’s back to normal. Just won’t happen. He’s Tom Friggin’ Brady.

  11. eagles 20 says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:42 am
    can anyone say scott mitchell????
    ============
    I agree. I don’t think Cassel is that good. I hope the Patriots franchise him and then are stuck with him and his contract.
    Two rookie QBs this season are leading their teams into the playoffs. Cassel is sitting home with the Patriots.
    Those rookie QBs this season have a bigger body of work as a starter than Cassel does.
    So, why would any team bother trading for Cassel when they can take the same risk by drafting their own much younger QB? Cassel hasn’t shown enough to warrant a huge contract, not to mention the fact that any team that traded for Cassel would have to pay out a huge contract and give up draft picks. Trading for Xassel makes no sense.

  12. @immymind:
    Cassel would be a restricted free agent if 2010 is uncapped, as six years of service would be required for free agency, Cassel will only have five (which makes no real difference with poison pill contracts …).
    Signing the tender ASAP would make sense for him, no way – I believe he is a clearly above average QB – he would make more than 12 Mio guaranteed in _one_ season.
    I believe the Pats are simply trying to drive the price up for him (or create a market first). The way Belichick praised Cassel in his last press conference for the game in Buffalo was crazy. Same as of the bitching around with Brady’s status.
    But I believe Cassel could be a very good QB in the NFL. Compare his “rookie” season this year with Brady’s first as a starter. Not a really big difference to me. I believe they could have won a couple of play off games this year.

  13. I hope NE trades him to the Bears or the Lions for tons of picks and they then sign him to a huge cap-killing contract (now watch the Vikes do it).

  14. Great news for Cassel. That’s a hefty paycheck. But the Pats are batshit crazy if they think some team is going to be desperate enough to trade away the house for a QB who’s had 1 good season. Nobody outside of NE thinks he’s a QB worth top 5 money.
    So much for those “sources close to Brady” that say he’s ahead of schedule.

  15. When Brady comes back and if he’s not “Tom Brady” as we knew him prior, and they have Cassel right there picking up where he left off from this season… I think they would be stupid not to lock up Cassell and cut their losses with Brady.. Get what you can…

  16. It would sure be nice to have him on the team for a couple more seasons, even if he is riding the bench. After 15 starts, you know what you have in him: a guy that can win games. beacuse that brady’s left knee sure got a lot of people’s ‘spidey-senses’ tingling

  17. Fan_of_Football says:
    “Actually all that Young and Cassel have proved is that Brady and Montana were good system QBs who were a product of their systems where any QB can plug and play.”
    That is the funniest thing I have seen at PFT in weeks, thanks for the humor!

  18. If Belichick farted under a tree the pundits would exclaim “the patriots are so smart.”
    Nearly %25 of their salary cap room is now being spent on one position and half of that will be unused and watching.
    QUESTION: Once a player is franchised, can that team accept less that 2 first round picks for him?

  19. Just out of curiousity, why would any player object to being franchised? It looks like a good deal, average of top five salaries, and short term. Especially in this case where the player is looking at $12-15 million for a year and free agency next January.

  20. I can assure you of one thing.
    Belichick and Pioli know more about Cassel’s ability and value, and Brady’s knee than anyone who has posted here – including me.
    This team will make the right choice whatever it is, and whatever you think it is, and knock the hell out of the league next year.
    My guess is that they franchise him and trade him for picks and get a linebacker or two, some DBs in the draft. Bruschi and Rodney are done. They might even let one of the three upfront guys (seymour most likely) to save some money. Whatever they do, in Bill we trust.

  21. One thing I havent heard anyone explore is the possibility that they trade him for a PLAYER. Sure draft picks are nice (and precedented) but there is a chance they could trade for a disgruntled/luxury player on a team in need of a QB. For instance, Leigh Bodden (not that he’s disgruntled, but they are wasting his of talent) of the Lions would be a good trade candidate. If KC doesn’t stick with Thigpen, Anthony Gonazalez would work well. Chester Taylor? Ronde Barber? Karlos Dansby? Dare I say, Namdi Asomugha? Anything they get out of him is a bonus.
    And I haven’t even gotten into the scenario that Brady isn’t healthy in which case a team would KILL to be able to replace him easily even if it meant strapping your cap.

  22. I am guessing that Fan_of_Football is a colts fan.
    dashoe is and he says the same kind of thing. Cause he is a colts fan.

  23. Svnrdr,
    If you don’t know the rules around trading franchised players I would recommend you don’t form an opinion about the situation and even further don’t post it on the internet.
    Thank You

  24. Well, Mike Lombardi should know. He’s an expert.
    ’Michael Lombardi has been relieved of his duties with The Oakland Raiders. The Raiders wish Michael and his family well.’
    Oh wait, he’s not.

  25. Brady wasn’t a running quarterback – and luckily for him, the injury was to his arm.
    Brady comes back and plays as well as ever. Cassel goes to Detroit.

  26. Throwback it happens – just like the case of Adam Vinatieri. He wanted the Pats to sign him to a long term contract and they franchised him. iirc, he finally agreed to sign the tender only if they agreed to not do it again the following year. He then signed with the Colts. So, it happens…

  27. mitchell had like 6-7 games, albeit he played ok, for the dolphins, before the lions got him.
    he wasnt that bad, but he wasnt tough or much of a leader.
    cassel has already played 16 games, and of those losses… NE beat miami in the rematch, and there was a disputed call in the indy game. but then… they lost to the jets…
    now, if NE gets bashed for the “easy schedule”… why dont miami or the jets?

  28. first off, anybody claiming Tom Brady is a system quarterback is completely a Pats hater and not a football realist! This team would have ran over Indy, Pitt and Miami wouldn’t have stood a chance with Brady in their. Cassel will be sought out by a desperate team i.e. Bears, Vikes etc. who wants youth and a guy that has made a splash. This would be a great move for NE like all the other good moves they make year in and year out.

  29. RobJH says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:52 am
    Good luck upgrading that D with all that $ dedicated to the QBs. If I were Cassel, I’d sign that tender right away. I wonder how Tommy’s gonna feel about his backup making more than double his salary?
    Also, I agree that Cassel’s the next Scott Mitchell…
    _____________________________________
    RobJH, wrong again!!! LOL Cassel would make roughly 14.444 million while Brady makes 14.626 mil. I am not mathematician, but something tells me that Cassel wont make double Brady’s salary

  30. filbertkiwi71 says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 11:05 am
    eagles 20 says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:42 am
    can anyone say scott mitchell????
    ============
    I agree. I don’t think Cassel is that good. I hope the Patriots franchise him and then are stuck with him and his contract.
    Two rookie QBs this season are leading their teams into the playoffs. Cassel is sitting home with the Patriots.
    Those rookie QBs this season have a bigger body of work as a starter than Cassel does.
    So, why would any team bother trading for Cassel when they can take the same risk by drafting their own much younger QB? Cassel hasn’t shown enough to warrant a huge contract, not to mention the fact that any team that traded for Cassel would have to pay out a huge contract and give up draft picks. Trading for Xassel makes no sense.
    _________________________________________
    Good thing you arent running a franchise, or maybe you are, you arent Lewand or Mayhew are you?
    Anyways, why would a team be willing to give up a 1st round pick, and a 3rd round pick for the rights to Cassel…….
    Rick Mirer
    Akili Smith
    Tim Couch
    Vince Young
    Ryan Leaf
    Joey Harrington
    David Carr
    Mike Vick
    Do we need to continue, or do you actually get it now. You are right, Cassel isnt necessarily “proven” in the NFL, but I would rather pay him $14 mil and take my chances, before paying a rookie $14 mil, and praying he is more like Manning, and less like Leaf

  31. “This team will make the right choice whatever it is, and whatever you think it is, and knock the hell out of the league next year.”
    Umm yeah……….next year being the 5th year since your team has won a SB. We’re all REAL scared. LOL.

  32. blazklobucar says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 11:22 am
    It would sure be nice to have him on the team for a couple more seasons, even if he is riding the bench. After 15 starts, you know what you have in him: a guy that can win games. beacuse that brady’s left knee sure got a lot of people’s ’spidey-senses’ tingling
    =========
    Fifteen games mean nothing. Now teams will have film on him and be able to make adjustments. Add that to a relatively easy out of division schedule this season and I don’t think it is at all known how good Cassel is.

  33. I don’t think the Pats expect anyone to bet the farm on Cassel but for a team like the Lions that has had horrible results from drafting skill players high, why not use their 2nd first-rounder (from Dallas) and third-rounder on Cassel, and use the #1 pick on the top-available offensive tackle? It’s a win-win for both teams, and for Cassel. The Pats would surely prefer that Cassel doesn’t go to the Jets and they want to get value for developing the guy; but they also don’t want to set the trade price so high that they have to keep him, not to mention that nobody really wants to pay the price of a #1 pick. Besides, the Pats historically have done well picking in the latter part of the first round. For the Lions, they get a guy who has developed behind the best QB in the league, has proven himself against top competition, and in some ways is better than Brady (more athletic). They get the top OT in the draft along with him, and still keep their high 2nd rounder and 4th – 7th rounders. If not Detroit, San Francisco could be another willing partner and get a USC guy at the helm. The Chiefs seem to like Tyler Thigpen enough and may be okay with just drafting a guy to develop behind him or they be a willing partner also. The Pats are too smart; they won’t get stuck paying both salaries, but they have the flexibility to do so as they don’t have many UFAs this year. If they had to keep them both and wanted to re-up Wilfork or Seymour, they could always do so after the 2009 season, when they would surely have 1 of the 2 QBs off the books.

  34. Franchise then trade. Without the franchise tag they no longer own his rights. So ,therefore, cannot trade him. Google “Tebucky Jones” to get an idea of what level of compensation they will get.

  35. FlorioHatesMyTeamMoreThanHeHatesYourTeamWaahhh says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 12:28 pm
    filbertkiwi71 says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 11:05 am
    eagles 20 says:
    January 2nd, 2009 at 10:42 am
    can anyone say scott mitchell????
    ============
    I agree. I don’t think Cassel is that good. I hope the Patriots franchise him and then are stuck with him and his contract.
    Two rookie QBs this season are leading their teams into the playoffs. Cassel is sitting home with the Patriots.
    Those rookie QBs this season have a bigger body of work as a starter than Cassel does.
    So, why would any team bother trading for Cassel when they can take the same risk by drafting their own much younger QB? Cassel hasn’t shown enough to warrant a huge contract, not to mention the fact that any team that traded for Cassel would have to pay out a huge contract and give up draft picks. Trading for Xassel makes no sense.
    _________________________________________
    Good thing you arent running a franchise, or maybe you are, you arent Lewand or Mayhew are you?
    Anyways, why would a team be willing to give up a 1st round pick, and a 3rd round pick for the rights to Cassel…….
    Rick Mirer
    Akili Smith
    Tim Couch
    Vince Young
    Ryan Leaf
    Joey Harrington
    David Carr
    Mike Vick
    Do we need to continue, or do you actually get it now. You are right, Cassel isnt necessarily “proven” in the NFL, but I would rather pay him $14 mil and take my chances, before paying a rookie $14 mil, and praying he is more like Manning, and less like Leaf
    ===========
    Teams that perpetually stink are far better of building up their offensive and defensive lines first and then worrying about the QB position later. If they are then able to come up with a decent running back, then the pressure won’t be on the QB as much. The problem is that a lot of these teams seem to draft a QB without having anyone being able to block for him.
    Just remember where Brady and Cassel were drafted. The Patriots are probably going to want at least a high draft pick. The Patriots have proven that it is not necessary to use a draft pick on a QB in the early rounds.

  36. Floriohates…
    $14.6 is Brady’s CAP NUMBER, not his salary. If you don’t know the difference, look it up jackass.

  37. filbertkiwi71, I agree with your ideas about having other pieces in place, to relieve the pressure on the QB, but some of the players I mentioned, would have failed regardless of what team they were on. But, to the point about Cassel, are you implying that there are no teams in the NFL, that have everything but the QB? I would be willing to bet a team like Minnesota would have an interest in Cassel, along with Chicago, just to name a few teams off the top of my head that are being held back by poor QB play. As an example of what a QB can do for a team that “sucks”, but has some tools look at the 07 Dolphins, and compare them to the 08 Dolphins. Look at the 07 Ravens, and compare them to the 08 Ravens. There is a team out there, that is on the cusp of being a contender, that would give up the farm for Cassel

  38. Fan_of_Football,
    Did you actually watch any of the Pats games this year? Cassel improved considerably from game to game. He had a few bad games but so didn’t Peyton Manning, its called life. Cassel continually made big plays with both his arm and his legs. I cannot count the crucial 3rd and 4th down conversions I saw him make this season. If Moss would have had a better year and actually caught the ball, Cassel’s numbers would have been much better. Moss dropped at least 5-7 TDs this year. I mean if your ignorant statement were true then why why even keep Brady or Cassel? Why not draft a QB in the 6-7th round every two years and use them. Hell why even keep a QB, lets just stick a RB back there and let the system do the rest. Then to say that Montanta and Young were ‘just’ system QBs is one of the dumbest comments I have ever read on this blog. I am going to go out on a limb here but my guess is BB knows more about football that you do….

  39. i agree that the lions should get Dl help then LB help then OL help.
    in their division they face purple jesus, forte, and ryan grant. 3 teams that either run the ball a lot or do it well when they do it.
    the lions offense even with orlovsky was almost serviceable. 517 points is horrible.
    they ought to trade the top pick for 3 more, hopefully including a pick about 7-8 slots after their top pick. draft a d-line and a couple of backers then work on the o line next year. play stanton.

  40. Hey Wes Welker – It’s a shame that Assante Samuel left for the money, right? Look what he was missing out on – AN EARLY VACATION –
    How is it going to feel when you are sitting on your ass watching #22 take a pick to the house on Sunday??? Gave up the opportunity to championships for the $$$ huh?
    F’ off you stinking Patriots scum – You are second or third fiddle in your own town – and now you missed the playoffs – eat me

  41. thestan,
    Lets wait and see how far Philly goes before you start crowing them. Assante is good, but he is also still dropping INTs this year. In fact I think it was the recent Redskins loss where he dropped a gimme. Anyone else remember the SB last year????? If he makes that INT the Pats win and Eli is ran out of town.

  42. Cassell is NOT the immediate future with the Pats..only if brady will not be back in 09. If Brady is back, Cassell is out. Plain and simple! You don’t trade the best QB in the game… Brady will give 2 or 3 more years then Oconnell who is the future of the Pats will be ready to step in!

  43. CaptainFantasDick, you only post on two subjects:
    1. Fanboy infatuation with the Pittsburgh Steelers. They rule and everyone else sucks (says you in your fanboy world).
    2. Anything to bash New England; all laughable, recycled and revisionist bleatings that are totally unoriginal. That’s it. You are as predictable as Big Ben’s balls hitting you on the chin every Sunday night. You are a small fish in a small pond and this forum is your sounding board.

  44. If Cassel signs and start making the big bucks, does that mean Brady will introduce him to his girlfriend’s fellow lingerie models? Now, THAT would be a signing bonus worth staying in NE for!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!