Sources: Pats to franchise Cassel

Updated: January 5, 2009, 3:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The New England Patriots have decided to ensure that quarterback Matt Cassel won't be an unrestricted free agent, as scheduled in March.

Sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that the Patriots will use a franchise tag on Cassel that will give the team two options: trade him if all goes well with Tom Brady's rehabilitation from a knee injury or keep him because all is not well with Brady.

The Patriots' intention to franchise Cassel was first reported by ...

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