Saturday, August 27, 2016

matt cassel

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The Minnesota Vikings have had 34 quarterbacks start games for this illustrious franchise. Andy ranks them #1 all the way through #34. There are a few Hot Takes in the rankings, most notably who’s at #32, #7, and #2 overall. (That’s a tease)

The Ranking Criteria Include (But are not limited to):
• Statistics
• Short Greatness vs Extended Averageness
• Lofty Expectations vs None
• The Grandma Scale™
• Andy’s Personal Opinion

So enjoy the rankings! If you agree or disagree, please let us know in the comment section or hit me up on Twitter @AndyCarlsonShow or @PurpleForTheWin!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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 “The first sentence I wrote on him in the free agency preview is that “he is better than Everson Griffen”. I sincerely think that.”

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) joins me again on the podcast to talk Vikings Free Agency and what the cap rich – and potentially more cap rich if they move Adrian – Purple People Eaters will do once the FA flood gates open on March 10th.

We run through the Top-10 list of potential free agents Arif listed on his count down over at Vikings Journal, hit on some big name pipe dream FA names to keep the rubes happy, and also break down what it’s like to be in the crosshairs of #KeyboardWarriorNation after his latest Adrian article.

We also speculate what the Cassel trade means for the backup QB position, what Spielman could potentially alchemy that 5th round pick into, and how the “Bro-Hug” meeting between Rick, Zimmer, & Adrian will affect the 30-year old running back’s future with the team.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Back in January, as part of our Free Agency Preview features, I opined that the biggest question facing the quarterback depth chart this offseason was whether or not the team would be keeping veteran Matt Cassel who has been relegated to backup status due to the emergence of Teddy Bridgewater.

The Vikings could certainly do worse than Cassel when it comes to their primary backup position, but he carries a cap number of $4.75 million in 2015 which is considerable for a backup. Still, some are surprised (like our friend Christopher Gates over at Daily Norseman) that the Vikings are non-committal about Cassel being on the roster during the upcoming season.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

From top to bottom, left to right, we will be surveying the NFL’s 2015 free agency class and attempting to predict what the Vikings will do to improve their depth chart.

For the first time in a long time, the Vikings have essentially no need at quarterback, with Teddy Bridgewater doing enough in his rookie season to have us all hopeful that he can become one of the greats.  As the Seattle Seahawks have proven, having a young and inexpensive starting quarterback can lead to an era filled with great things, and the Vikings are hoping to duplicate that success with Bridgewater at the helm.

Bridgewater should only count $1.6 million against the 2015 salary cap.  Christian Ponder, the third quarterback on the depth chart, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent and it seems unlikely that the Vikings will try to stop him.

If any drama surrounds the Vikings quarterback position this offseason, it will likely involve veteran Matt Cassel.  He is scheduled to carry a cap hit of $4.75 million and is owed a half million dollar roster bonus on the seventh day of the new league year.  Conversely, the Vikings can opt out of the second half of this two-year deal and find a backup replacement, or even try to negotiate Cassel’s return on a lessened salary.

Matt Cassel was our starting quarterback to start 2014 and he is a highly regarded professional that certainly seems to fit the mold of “veteran mentor.”  Still, I can’t help but think the business sense will overrule the perceived upside Cassel brings to the table, and I expect he will be released with the possibility of a return under a new contract.

If Ponder leaves, the Vikings opt out of their Cassel contract, and they want to have four quarterbacks to kick off training camp then they will almost certainly be active in the second and third tiers of free agency.  That happens to work out fairly well, as a “first tier” free agent quarterback doesn’t seem to actually exist.

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