The New England Patriots have placed the franchise tag on quarterback Matt Cassel today. Is this a shocking move? I think not, we all knew it was coming. Now the ball is in Cassel’s court, just for now. It’s unknown if he will sign the one year deal. But in my opinion he’d be a fool not to sign the one year deal worth $14.65 million dollars.
So what’s next for the Patriots and Cassel. It becomes the old wait and see ballgame now. If Cassel signs the teams offer for the 2009 season, the Patriots are free to do whatever they want with him. Of course this all boils down if QB Tom Brady will be healthy enough to play in the 09 season. If Brady is good to go for the new season, the Patriots have options on what to do with Cassel.
They can keep him and his salary or trade him anywhere they feel like. Now if the Pats decide to hold onto Cassel as insurance for Brady. The two combined salaries for these stars would take up about 25 percent of the salary cap for the team. With new year’s cap rising to $123 million per team. That’s a very bold move for this team, but it’s a much needed move.
People tend to forget that just because the team placed the “tag”on Cassel, he still is free to go any place he wants. How’s it possible for that? Easily, if he refuses to sign the one year offer from the Patriots, he just signs with another team. But with that comes a cost, and that’s two first round draft picks. Yes, that’s correct any team that signs Cassel gives up not one, but two first rounders in doing so.
So the Patriots have done what was expected in “franchising” Cassel. Now we just sit back and wait for the next move. Does Cassel sign the deal? Or does he decide to walk away? Those questions will be answered shortly. So stay tuned and let’s hope this works out well for everyone.