Count ESPN among the news organizations now insisting that New England will apply the franchise tag to **Matt Cassel**. The move is seen to be an effort to either keep the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent on the team, or to receive some sort of compensation for him if he goes elsewhere via trade or otherwise.
Meanwhile, on its gossip page this morning, the New York *Daily News *claims **Tom Brady **will miss the entire 2009 season, citing an unidentified "friend" of the Pats' convalescing QB. The report offers no further evidence to support its assertion.
Higher up the Pats' organizational chart, meanwhile, offensive coordinator **Josh McDaniels **interviewed with the Denver Broncos this past weekend in Providence. He appears to be a leading contender to fill their vacant head coaching job. Those details are revealed in a Boston Globe story that leads off with news about Cassel.
As for player personnel VP Scott Pioli, *The Providence Journal *speculates that Pioli may wind up staying with the Patriots.
Finally today, it seems Pats fans are having a difficult time watching the NFL playoffs this year, as the *Taunton (Mass.) Gazette *reports.