I want to enlighten everyone about the Matt Cassel situation.
Way back in August there was a battle for who should be the number two quarterback of the New England Patriots. The competition was between Matt Gutierrez, Kevin O’Connell and Matt Cassel.
It was not going as well for Mr. Cassel as you might expect. Here are Matt Cassel’s pre-season numbers through the 4 games:
What people do not know is that the fans in New England were calling for his head. Everyone was convinced that the Patriots needed to bring in a veteran. Here is a ProJo article that expresses the common sentiment in New England.
I mean, there was little else to nitpick about… that is what happens when you have an undefeated regular season the prior year.
Of course, after all that talk about who would back-up Brady, it became all too real in the very first quarter of the season. Jinx?
Fast forward 17 weeks; the Patriots defy all odds to win 11 games. However, their season is over. The big question is… since Cassel is a free agent what do the Patriots do? Is Brady even ready to come back? If he is, will he be the same player?
The next question is will the Patriots use the franchise tag on Cassel? Yes, 100% yes. They will not let a player whose value is peeking right now walk away. There are two reason’s they will do this. One, they will trade him and control where he goes as well as getting picks in return. Two, he will play all or part of next year while Brady recovers.
It could be said, ‘Well, what if Brady is okay? Then you are paying a back-up QB nearly $15 million to hold a clipboard.’
Not necessarily. When you franchise someone you are giving your self the right to sign him to that deal you are not actually signing the deal at that moment in time. Thus, this gives the Patriots the opportunity to trade Cassel.
The ethics of the franchise tag
The franchise tag was not created to enable a team to control where a free agent player goes. But, in essence, this is what the Patriots will be doing. This comes only months after the Patriots front office apologized at the owners meetings for previously “stretching” the rules.
The Brady behind schedule story
This past Sunday Tom E. Curran posted a story at NBC Sports saying that he has been told that Brady is well behind schedule. Later that night Peter King refuted this statement. It has become a he said, she said situation. No one has divulged their sources.
I think it is not beyond the realm of possibilities that the Patriots might be placing this notion out there so they can justify the use of the franchise tag.
Regardless, the Patriots will be franchising Cassel.
Read Full Post »