The dreaded honor of being 'tagged'

The 31 other NFL GMs will envy the Patriots for how smoothly their franchise-player designation of Matt Cassell went. Most players dread the "honor" and drawn-out negotiations result.

Updated: February 13, 2009, 6:53 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Matt Cassel was the first NFL player to receive the franchise player tag this year, and he surely won't be the last veteran marked with the dreaded restriction during the two-week window, which expires 4 p.m. ET Thursday, teams have to make such moves.

But the New England Patriots quarterback just might be the one star player who most quickly resolves his franchise-tag status this offseason.

Cassel, who led the Patriots to a surprising 11-5 season after starter ...

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