Sources are reporting that the New England Patriots will put the Franchise Tag on QB Matt Cassel, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent. The move also means that the Patriots will have roughly $29 million invested in the QB position.
NBCSports.com had reported recently that Tom Brady was "well behind" hi rehab schedule, though that report was dismissed by report from the Boston Globe. Though the Patriots, as usual, are not saying anything regarding Brady's recovery and availability for 2009, Brady did need follow up surgeries to clean out an infection in his surgically repaired left knee, and there has been much speculation as to whether or not the 2007 MVP will be ready for 2009.
Cassel, a former 7th round draft pick who had not started a game since high school, filled in very well for the injured Brady, leading the Pats to an 11-5 record and nearly making the playoffs.
While the Pats' QB position is now set for 2009, they have a lot of issues to address in the off-season and now have considerably less cap room to work with. Richard Seymour and Logan Mankins are among some 22 players who will be entering the final year of their deals, and the Pats will have some decisions to make as to who they will bring back for 2010--and the uncertainty of whether or not Scott Pioli will be there or not could add their problems.