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May 17 in Pats History: Patriots Draft A Guy Who Hasn't Started Since High School

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Today In Patriots History
What? We just drafted a guy that
hasn't started since high school?!!!

Happy 39th birthday to Matt Cassel
Born May 17, 1982 in Northridge, California
Patriot QB, 2005-2008; uniform #16
Seventh round (230th overall) selection of the 2005 NFL draft, out of USC

- Thanks to Bernard Pollard, Cassel played in all sixteen 2008 games, with 15 starts.
- Despite having not started at any level of play in eight years, the Pats went 11-5, with Cassel throwing for 3,693 yards (8th in the NFL that season), with 21 TDs against 11 interceptions.
- His 3,946 career passing yards ranks 8th in franchise history.
- Has managed to stay in the league long enough (14 years) to have been paid over $65 million. In contrast, the player he backed up in college (Matt Leinart) lasted only seven years and made $18 million.
- In 2005 the Raiders wanted to move up, to draft Anttaj Hawthorne. The Patriots received two picks in return, which turned into Cassel and OT Ryan O'Callaghan. Those two played for a combined 159 games over 19 seasons, plus nine playoff games. Hawthorne lasted two seasons, playing in 18 games.
- In 2009 the Patriots traded Cassel and Mike Vrabel to KC for a draft pick that was used to select Patrick Chung.


Happy 26th birthday to Korey Cunningham
Born May 17, 1995 in Montevalo, Alabama
Patriot OT, 2019-; uniform #74
Acquired in a trade with Arizona on August 29, 2019, for a 2020 sixth round pick

Cunningham was a tight end in high school, before converting to tackle while at the University of Cincinnati. He appeared in 11 games for the Pats in 2020, and has been on the field for 155 snaps over his two seasons with New England. Most of his playing time has come as a sixth offensive lineman, often as an eligible receiver.


Happy 27th birthday to Roberto Aguayo
Born May 17, 1994 in Mascotte, Florida
Patriot K, 2020-; uniform #9
Signed to the practice squad on December 26, 2020

Tampa Bay traded up to select Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 draft, out of Florida State. Nicknamed 'Mr. Perfect' for his accuracy at FSU, he was far from that at the next level. As a rookie Aguayo was 4-11 on field goal attempts of 40+ yards, and he was waived at the end of the following training camp. Since then he has been in training camps for the Bears, Panthers and Chargers, but has not played again in the NFL; in fact he had not been with any football team for 34 months before signing with the Patriots.

Ironically the player he lost his job to in 2017 is the same one he will be competing with four years later: kicker Nick Folk.

May 17, 2021: Patriots sign one, re-sign two others

Other players born on this date with New England connections:

Matt Ryan, 36 (May 17, 1985)
Boston College QB, 2004-2007
Atlanta Falcon QB, 2008- present
The ACC Offensive Player of the Year in '07, Ryan is the highest (3rd overall) former Eagle to ever be drafted in the NFL. Heading into the 2021 season, Ryan ranks ninth all-time in NFL history with 55,767 career passing yards and tenth with 347 career passing touchdowns.

Lou Kirouac, 81 (May 17, 1940)
Born and raised in Manchester NH, Kirouac went to Bishop Bradley High School in Manchester and then Boston College.
Kirouac was an offensive lineman and kicker with the Giants, Colts and Falcons from 1963-1967.

Clarence 'Ace' Parker (5/17/1912)
Ace Parker is a Hall of Fame quarterback, tailback and defensive back from the late 30s and early 40s. After his football career was interrupted by four years of fighting in World War II, he spent one season playing at Fenway Park for the Boston Yanks in 1945.