Here's why. IMHO of course. The recent positive media stories on Cassel's play last year (Pro Football Weekly ranking him 32nd best player, not QB, in the NFL) and his offseason value (TSN ranking Cassel as 3rd best FA player, not QB, in the NFL this offseason) seem to be suggesting (confirming?) that Cassel is a franchise caliber QB, one of obvious high demand, this offseason. So, allow me to work with this axiom. Given the abundance of teams desperate to find even a decent starting QB, and coupled with a dearth of quality QB's being available, I believe we will see at least one team (likely more) jump at the opportunity to acquire Cassel this offseason via the "two firsts compensation for franchise tagged players" rule afforded them by the CBA. For a team staring at hiring a re-tread FA like Garcia or Favre or ? and who are drafting outside the top 10, and without any hope to land either Stafford or Sanchez, I would think that they will be ecstatic to be in position to land Cassel, who I would imagine the vast majority, if not all, teams would have ranked as higher value, and certainly far less of a risk, than either Stafford or Sanchez ..... for the mere cost of a couple of mid to late round 1st's. The key here is that the team needs to pounce on Cassel PRIOR to him signing his tag tender BEFORE he becomes a contracted player to and thus, under control of, the Pats. Cassel's agent would almost certainly advise his client to refrain from signing the tender until after such time as they have explored a market with the least amount of restrictions possible. Keeping the Pats out of it ensures as open a market as possible for his client so that he can attempt to secure the best deal possible for his client. Assuming suitable interest, Cassel's agent comes up with a contract that they want and they bring that offer back to the Pats in order to match. At this point the Pats either match (highly unlikely) or take the picks as per the CBA allotment. Failing this action I believe Cassel's agent would then instruct his client to sign the franchise tender, take the money, and then worry about finding a suitable dancing partner afterwards. Thought's or criticism's?