Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel decided Friday to opt out of the final year of a two-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings. He would’ve made $3.7 million with Minnesota in 2014, but evidently decided he wants to try his luck elsewhere.
The Vikes finished 5-10-1 last season, alone in the cellar of the NFC North. They endured a weird QB carousel last season, with Cassel, Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman all earning at least one start. Cassel performed decently in his time under center, winning three of his six starts. He came in in relief of Ponder in three more games, two of which the Vikings went on to win. So, the only Vikings quarterback to actually win a game for them last season is now gone. Freeman is also a free agent, leaving Ponder as the only QB on Minnesota’s roster.
While Cassel’s career hasn’t really gone as planned since he signed a big $62 million contract with Kansas City back in 2010, there’s always a market for quarterbacks out there. While the numbers last season weren’t great (54% completions for 1,807 yards and 11 TDs with 9 INTs), it stands to reason he could find a situation where he can compete for a starting gig in 2014.
There are obvious ties to the Houston Texans, whose new head coach, Bill O’Brien, coached Cassel as an assistant with the Patriots. Houston’s defensive coordinator, Romeo Crennel, was on the Chiefs’ staff as DC and head coach from 2010-12, as well.
Texans owner Bob McNair has already stated publicly that he’d like to bring in a veteran to start and mentor a potential QB draftee, and Cassel would likely be a pretty cheap fit.