Not sure how reliable this story is given Chris Mortensen‘s recent track record of being dead wrong, but the ESPN insider says the Patriots plan on using the franchise tag on Matt Cassel, and will then figure out whether to trade him or keep him. Were Cassel to sign for the one year tender, per the franchise tagging rules, the Pats would have to pay him over $14 million for 2009. You think they want to do that? No way. And I don’t care if Tom Brady‘s knee is worse than we thought: Bill Belichick has to believe he can sign a decent back-up at a reasonable price, and hang on until Brady is ready. I just can’t believe the Pats would think Cassel was worth that much to them, even with the season he had. The only other possibility – and this seems unthinkable – would be to trade Brady.