Matthew Brennan Cassel (born May 17, 1982) is an American football quarterback for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft and has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. He played college football at USC.
He became the Patriots' starting quarterback after Week 1 of the 2008 season after then reigning NFL MVP Tom Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury. According to ESPN research, he is the only known quarterback in NFL history to start an NFL game at quarterback without ever starting as quarterback in college. In February 2009, the Patriots used their franchise tag on Cassel, extending him a one-year contract worth over $14 million, the largest one-year contract for an offensive player in NFL history. Later that offseason, the Patriots made a trade which sent Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs, who signed him to a 6-year, $62.7 million contract in July 2009. In 2010, Cassel led the Chiefs to their first divisional championship in seven years, and earned a Pro Bowl berth in the process.
By Dean Hanley
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