by Ryan Wilson
On Sunday, the first day NFL teams could franchise eligible players, the Patriots did exactly that to quarterback Matt Cassel. Which means that, if Tom Brady is healthy by the start of the 2009 season, Cassel will pull down close to $15 million to ride the pine. Unless the Patriots trade him -- and that seems like a long shot at this point.
But it's February; there's still free agency and the draft, and training camp doesn't begin for another five months. A lot can happen.