.... in the up and down world that is Matt Cassel's life as a New England Patriot. After the Jet game there was a lot of talk about what to do with Matt's future in NE, and/or how to maximize his trade value in the future. Here are the facts. 1. He has NO future trade value as of now because he will be a FA at the end of the season. if he has a future with the Pats there will have to be a new contract signed BEFORE the end of this season. 2. Assuming he continues to make progress over the season and the Pats make it into the playoffs, there WILL BE a market for him this off season. 3. IF he WERE under contract with the Pats at the end of the season, he would be most likely worth some kind of 3rd round pick, or some kind of sliding scale deal that would change the round based on how much he plays for his new team. Very much like the deal the Jets have with the Pack on Farve. Something that moves from a 4th to a 2nd based on performance. 4. What the Pats have to do is to get him under contract. Right now he's earning about a half million dollars. So a deal that would put 4-6 Million in his pocket immediately would look pretty good to him. In reality it pays him as a true starter on a contending team, and wouldn't really hurt him in his quest to get his own team next year. In essence the Pats are willing to give him financial security TODAY in exchange for the ability to get some kind of draft pick in the off season. It really wouldn't effect his ability to get a new contract. Since any team that would trade for him would probably give him a new longer term contract. 5. To get this done, I was thinking of a 2 year $8MM deal with a $6MM signing bonus. That puts some good money in his pocket in time for Christmas, at the same time gives the Pats the right to trade him instead of just watch him walk out the door. Its a much cheaper option that making him a franchise or transitional player. At worst the Pats would have a much better and more experienced back up for 2009 than the one they had in 2008.