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Patriots franchise QB Matt Cassel

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today that they have utilized their 2009 franchise designation on quarterback Matt Cassel. He becomes the first offensive player and just the fourth Patriot to be franchised by the team, joining Adam Vinatieri (2002 and 2005), Tebucky Jones (2003) and Asante Samuel (2007).

"Matt has been a pleasure to coach his entire career and last season in particular, when his years of hard work and commitment resulted in a most impressive performance," said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. "We look forward to working with Matt again in 2009."

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