Confirming prior rumors of interest, the Minnesota Vikings reportedly signed free-agent quarterback Matt Cassel on Thursday.
UPDATE: Thursday, March 14, at 10:25 p.m. ET by Rob Goldberg
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the financial figures of the deal on Twitter:
Minnesota gave former Chiefs QB Matt Cassel a one-year, $4 million deal.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2013
Although it is not what he would have made with the Kansas City Chiefs, Cassel should feel satisfied with $4 million to likely be a backup on Minnesota.
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Jay Glazer of Fox Sports broke the news on Twitter:
QB Matt Cassel to the Vikings— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 14, 2013
Chiefs officially release Matt Cassel.— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) March 14, 2013
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio indicated on Tuesday that the Vikings—along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals—were keen on acquiring Cassel if he were to become available. The opportunity presented itself, as Florio points out, in light of the trade for Alex Smith and the free-agent signing of Chase Daniel.
As it turns out, the Vikings were the first team to capitalize on Cassel's sudden availability—and did so swiftly.
NFL Network's Albert Breer believes that it was down to the Bucs and Vikings when Cassel made his quick decision.
As @jayglazer reported, QB Matt Cassel will sign with Minnesota. My understanding is Cassel picked the Vikings over the Buccaneers.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 14, 2013
Minnesota averaged under 172 yards per game passing last season. Combine that fact with Joe Webb's struggles in his postseason start, and bringing in a proven veteran as a backup option seems like a sound move by GM Rick Spielman.
Did the Vikings make the right move in acquiring Matt Cassel?
It isn't likely that Cassel will supplant incumbent starter Christian Ponder—the No. 12 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft—but he could provide the young signal-caller with some necessary competition as Ponder continues to grow.
Although his Chiefs tenure ended poorly, as he flip-flopped with Brady Quinn for starts, Cassel did lead the New England Patriots to an 11-win season in 2008.
That eventually landed him a big contract with the Chiefs, a franchise Cassel led to an AFC West Division crown in 2010, throwing 27 touchdowns and a mere seven interceptions.
In Minnesota, he'll need to earn the opportunity to prove he can regain that form.