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Pats place franchise tag on Cassel

Updated: February 5, 2009, 9:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BOSTON -- The New England Patriots placed the franchise tag on Matt Cassel on Thursday, making it tougher for other teams to sign the free-agent quarterback.

ESPN's Michael Smith first reported the story.

The Patriots might keep him if they have doubts that Tom Brady will be ready for the start of next season after sustaining a serious knee injury in the 2008 opener. If they're confident Brady will be ready, they could trade Cassel rather than pay him the $14.65 million offer for 2009 ...

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