Tuesday, December 6, 2016

ryan fitzpatrick

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Wow, four games and four wins for the Minnesota Vikings so far in this 2016 NFL season. Not many thought this was possible even before their starting quarterback’s leg fell off and their elderly running back crumbled to the ground.

But the Vikings are taking the lead of head coach Mike Zimmer and not worrying for a second about what could possibly prevent them from accomplishing their goals this year.

The game plan has varied in each of their four games, but each strategy shared one common nucleus.

Defense.

Most of Minnesota’s fans who are younger than 40 have not seen a Vikings defense ever play the way in which they are doing so in 2016. Minnesota’s current strategy is working for them so far, but that still does not mean that a few improvements cannot be made heading into their game on Sunday against the Houston Texans.

The Vikings might not think they need to upgrade their starting quarterback position, but if the one playoff game they were able to play last season proved anything, it is that they desperately need a better backup option.

The Vikings have been linked, in passing, to Chiefs soon-to-be-displaced quarterback Matt Cassel ever since news broke that the Chiefs were swinging a trade for Alex Smith.  Cassel was believed to be a candidate for release as recently as Wednesday, but now the Chiefs appear to have held off on that with hopes of finding a trade partner.

One of those trade partners might be the Vikings.  The rumors continued to filter through the likes of Twitter and other unreliable sources of information, but it also started to get some attention from more main stream media outlets, and it appears as though this might have some legs behind it.

“Continue to hear Vikings really like Cassel,” NFL Network‘s Jason La Canfora tweeted late on Wednesday.

This is about the most quarterback-less offseason I can remember, as the Draft and free agent class are both greatly lacking any star power, but there are still some options that exist that would not require any picks to obtain.  Recently released Ryan Fitzpatrick and free agent Tyler Thigpen are both available, as is veteran signal caller Jason Campbell.

Cassel is currently set to make $7.5 million in 2013, the same salary the Vikings were in line to pay Antoine Winfield, but I would assume a new contract would be a top priority if they did decide to trade to obtain Cassel as a backup to Christian Ponder.  His 2014 salary is scheduled to increase to $9 million, according to Rotoworld.  

We are now two days deep into free agency and the Vikings have yet to sign any players that didn’t play for them last year, but at least the rumor mill is starting to heat up.

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