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Friday, February 7, 2014

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel to void contract

By on 2/07/2014 10:30:00 AM

The Minnesota Vikings suffered another dismal season in 2013 which ended with a final record of 5-10-1, a firing of their head coach, and a quarterback carousel that left Vikings fans with trepidation for the immediate 2014 future. According to , quarterback Matt Cassel has thrown up his hands and decided to void his contract and test the free agency market beginning this March.

Cassel is a nine year veteran and began his career with the New England Patriots in 2005, drafted in the seventh round from USC to serve as a back up to starting quarterback Tom Brady.  He played sparingly between 2005-2007, totaling 14 games played and posting 253 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. 

Cassel then took over the starting role as a Patriot in 2008 when Brady went down in the first game of the season with an ACL tear in his right knee.  Cassel lead the team to an impressive 11-5 record and tied in first place of the AFC East with the Miami Dolphins.  Despite a solid season, the fate was not in the cards and the Patriots missed the playoffs that year for the first time since 2002.

Cassel made a huge statement that year, passing for a career-high 3,693 yards and 21 touchdowns.  The 2008 season earned Cassel a six-year, $62 million contract with Kansas City in 2009.  He made the Pro Bowl and steered the Chiefs to the playoffs in 2010. But he lost the starting job midway through 2012 and was waived after the season.

MN National Guard via Wikimedia Commons
Enter a struggling Minnesota offense where Cassel signed a two-year, $7.4 million deal with the Vikings before the 2013 season.  A juggling, confusing, and downright odd quarterback carousel ensued throughout the year between Cassel, Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman

Cassel eventually became Minnesota's starter for the final four games and ended the season completing 153 of 254 passes for 1,807 yards with 11 touchdown passes and nine interceptions.  Before the Vikings regular season finale on December 29, Cassel didn't deny he was auditioning for his future, whether it would be in Minnesota or elsewhere. 
“I think every time you step on the field, you’re auditioning,” Cassel said at the time. “Obviously, the game film is seen by every organization in the league.”

Cassel is due to make $3.7 million in 2014 with the Vikings. Yet the 6'4, 228 pound 31 year old veteran has decided to test the open market and see if Minnesota will fight for him to stay.  Considering the Vikings have the eighth pick overall in the draft and are unstable at the quarterback position, Cassel will most likely need to keep shopping.


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