The excitement of free agency has yet to wear down, but the details of certain contracts are starting to be revealed. Yesterday we looked at the hefty deal given to defensive end Everson Griffen and most of you thought it was worthy of an “A” or “B” grade. Now we’re looking at the guy we had listed as the top Vikings free agent of the offseason (Griffen was number two).
Quarterback Matt Cassel had leverage the minute he voided the second and final year of his contract with the Vikings. It was arguably impossible for the Vikings to find a free agent better than Cassel and Christian Ponder was the only quarterback left on the roster. Thus, he was able to gain more money and slightly more long-term security by doing so.
Cassel, who had a hand in each of the Vikings wins from last season, remains with the team under a new two year deal worth up to $10.5 million. According to Spotrac, Cassel’s deal $5.65 million in guarantees and he will a $5.75 million cap hit this season. The Vikings could cut ties next season with minimal impact to the cap situation.
Cassel still isn’t any sort of long-term franchise quarterback at 31 years old, but Rick Spielman would have been totally hanging his neck out there if he went into May’s Draft with Christian Ponder as his only viable option at the league’s most important position. The Cassel signing gives the Vikings a playable quarterback, a trustworthy veteran mentor, and some much needed flexibility in the Draft.
Adam’s Grade: A