As possible as it is that New England will slap its franchise tag on quarterback Matt Cassel, the move would not come without ramifications.
The franchise number for quarterbacks next season is expected to be over $14 million. And it just so happens that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the former NFL MVP, is scheduled to make exactly $14 million in base salary the next two seasons.
So Cassel could make more next season than Brady could in the next two –- an idea that seems, in a word, odd.
Now, the Patriots could always redo Brady’s contract and ensure he would be making more than Cassel, but then they would be paying even more to a quarterback that will be 32 years old next season and coming off major knee surgery.
Either way, the Patriots would have an inordinate amount of their salary cap devoted to two quarterbacks, which creates its own complications.
If anyone is smart enough to figure out how to handle the situation, it’s Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli and the rest of the Patriots.
But it’s a sticky situation with absolutely no simple answers.
And ponder this possibility: What if Jets quarterback Brett Favre retires after this season and New York needs to find a replacement and New England hasn’t franchised Cassel?
Cassel could follow Eric Mangini, Ty Law and the rest of the ex-Pats to New York. And twice a year, when the Jets play the Patriots, we could be treated to Cassel vs. Brady.