The Minnesota Vikings were patient, waiting for quarterback Matt Cassel to be released instead of trying to trade for him, and that patience has paid off.
Cassel was signed to a two year worth about $4 million per year, according to Viking Update, with a potential to earn more through incentives. Cassel also reportedly has the right to void the contract after the 2013 season.
Cassel represents the first NFL player the Vikings have signed who wasn’t one of their own since free agency began on Tuesday. Some national experts are reporting that Cassel will compete with Christian Ponder for the starting quarterback spot, but local media is brushing that off since the Vikings are so invested into Ponder, and I tend to think Ponder will be the guy without a doubt.
With that being said, Cassel presents the Vikings with some flexibility at the position. Joe Webb and McLeod Bethel-Thompson will currently be in line to compete for the number three spot, but one will surely be sent packing as a result of this move, and some speculation that makes sense centers around trying to trade Joe Webb to an option offense team. The situation will get even more interesting if the Vikings take a page out the Seattle Seahawks playbook in 2012 and decide to use one of their 11 draft picks on a quarterback, as well.
The signing of Cassel come on a day when reciever Greg Jennings is reportedly meeting with the team in Minnesota, and linebacker Brian Urlacher is reportedly of interest, which shows an interesting shift in priorities for the Vikings front office. It was widely assumed that Rick Spielman and his staff would continue to pursue younger players with upside, as they did last season in an effort to rebuild the roster, but so far most of the serious interest seems to be in veterans.
Cassel is 30 years old.