According to the folks at ESPN, Patriots' QB Matt Cassel has accepted the franchise tender that he has been presented by the New England Patriots. Certainly can't say that I blame the guy. . .acceptance of the tender means that he's guaranteed to make $14.65 million next season, something that nobody in their right mind (including Matt Cassel) probably could have imagined at this time a year ago.
So what does that mean for the Vikings and/or other teams that might be looking to trade for the former USC backup?
For starters, it means that Cassel can no longer shop himself to other teams. The Patriots can still deal him to another team, but Cassel can't hop a plane to Minnesota or Kansas City or something and say, "Hey, I'd like to play for you guys. Any chance you guys could try to work a trade for me?" His fate is now exclusively in the hands of the New England Patriots.
Secondly, any team that trades for Cassel had better have a ton of cap space available, because signing this franchise tender means that Cassel will get every penny of that $14.65 million next season. Not spread out over the next couple of years, but next season.
So, in terms of the hunt for a new quarterback, this off-season is not starting off particularly well for the Vikings. Depending on how highly the team thought of Cassell and Kurt Warner, we may already be looking at Plan C.
Speaking of which. . .NFL Mock Drafts are starting up already, and the folks here at The Daily Norseman were asked to participate in one over at Next Season Sports. I won't give away who we picked here. . .but I think that, given the scenario that's played out in said mock, we made the obvious choice.
Keep enjoying your Sunday, folks, and remember that the Pro Bowl is this evening. . .our last chance to see anything even remotely resembling real NFL football for another six months.