The lesson here? I’m a moron.
Cassel has gone from a backup quarterback that nobody had seen play since high school to potentially the most coveted free agent this offseason.
Matt Cassel has been absolutely phenomenal this season.
Lost in all of the stories about the Patriots missing the playoffs in an 11-win season is the fact that this Sunday may be Matt Cassel’s last game in a Patriots’ uniform.
So where will Matt Cassel end up?
All of the following teams will have some level of interest in Matt Leinart’s former backup:
Detroit Lions: They’ll have interest, but Cassel (assuming he doesn’t suffer a massive concussion in Week 17) probably won’t have any interest in them.
Chicago Bears: Orton has one year left on his contract, and he’s been horribly inconsistent this season. I’m not sold on him as the future of the Bears, and I’m not sure the Bears are sold on him either. Matt Cassel would be a perfect fit for the Bears’ offense.
Cassel would bring inside knowledge of their division rivals (something the Jets love, just look at their coaching staff), and a young quarterback with a cannon arm who’s proven he can win big games.
Miami Dolphins: Chad Pennington was nice, but they need a quarterback they can build an offense around. With Pennington, you’re limited in what you can do in your passing game because of his noodle arm. Matt Cassel would be a nice fit for the Dolphins’ offense.
Kansas City Chiefs: Unless they think Tyler Thigpen is their future, they’ll be in the market for a real starting quarterback.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are always looking for a quarterback. And Jeff Garcia isn’t getting any younger.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers are an obvious choice for the California native and USC alum. The question is, if Martz is back does Cassel fit into his style of offense. I’m not so sure.
All of those teams will have some level of interest in Matt Cassel. Some will make an offer, some won’t. A lot depends on their cap space, draft position, and whether or not the Patriots franchise Cassel.
Ultimately, I think Cassel will end up in Minnesota. It’s a perfect fit.
And if the Vikings end up with Matt Cassel, they’ll be legit Super Bowl contenders next season.
Of course, if Josh McDaniels takes a head coaching job in Detroit, San Francisco, or Kansas City, things could change. So stay tuned.
No matter where he ends up, Matt Cassel will be a rich man. And he’ll have earned it. Patriots fans will wish him luck, send him our thanks, and root for him where ever he ends up (except on the week’s he’s playing the Patriots and as long as he doesn’t end up with the Jets).