Cassel release creates another Vikings option

Matt Cassel (Getty)

The Vikings have stated their interest in finding an experienced backup quarterback. That market got bigger Thursday with the release of Matt Cassel from the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Kansas City Chiefs announced the release of quarterback Matt Cassel Thursday after reportedly trying to trade him without success.

Cassel signed a six-year, $63 million contract with the Chiefs in 2009 after proving himself as Tom Brady's backup when Brady was lost for the season with an injury. In 2008, Cassel's final year in New England, he started 15 games and completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 3,693 yards and 21 touchdowns.

However, in his four seasons in Kansas City (2009-2012), Cassel never returned to the 60-percent completion rate and never had more than 3,200 yards passing.

The Chiefs traded for Alex Smith this offseason and signed Chase Daniel to a three-year, $10 million contract to be Smith's backup for new head coach Andy Reid. That paved the way for Cassel's release and freed other teams interested in him from having to give up draft picks to obtain him or having to pay his scheduled $7.5 million salary.

The Vikings are one of the teams rumored to be interested in him, and they have publicly stated their interest in finding a veteran backup behind starter Christian Ponder.

"If it's the right guy, it would be perfect," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. "It's got to be a guy that comes in and understands that Christian is our starting quarterback. But, yeah, he's got to be ready to play at any given time. That's just the nature of being the backup quarterback.

"He'd have to understand his role. That would be the key. If the guy comes in and has the mindset that I'm going to create a problem in the locker room because he feels he should be the starter, that would not be a good fit. It needs to be a guy understands his role and could fit our team and be ready to go at a moment's notice."

If not Cassel, other options on the free agent market include Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jason Campbell, Tyler Thigpen and Brady Quinn, among others.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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