Matthew Brennan "Matt" Cassel (born May 17, 1982, Northridge, California) is the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at USC.
He became the Patriots' starting quarterback in Week 2 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 at 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 Chiefs, who signed him to a 6 year, $62.7 million contract in July 2009.
Cassel was born in Northridge, Los Angeles, California|Northridge, California. When Cassel was 11 years old, his family home was at the epicenter of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which at one pointed trapped his father Greg under a marble column and led water from their swimming pool to flood their house. Their home was eventually condemned as a result, forcing the Cassel family to move.