Dec 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) looks to throw the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Free Agent Rumors: Matt Cassel Likely Headed to Houston

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There is news on Matt Cassel, and the news is not good for fans hoping to see him back in purple for 2014 and possibly beyond.

In fact this news sounds rather dire. According to Jason La Canfora, Cassel and the Vikings are “not close” in their contract negotiations, meaning it’s likely Cassel will hit the market when free agency officially opens on March 11.

La Canfora then says he anticipates Cassel will land in Houston.

Nothing is written in stone here of course, but it certainly seems that the door is closing on the Vikings and Cassel being able to hash out a deal and keep the QB off the market.

Cassel originally signed a two year deal with the Vikings, but he was able to void the contract after one season. One look at the weak crop of free agent QBs out there and Cassel elected to void, believing he could score a better deal in free agency.

Houston has been a rumored landing spot for Cassel ever since he opted out, mostly thanks to his ties with new Texans coach Bill O’Brien, who worked with Cassel in New England.

The Texans will likely cut their own one-time starting QB Matt Schaub, dumping another dubious veteran option onto the market. Houston also holds the #1 overall pick in the draft and could use that on a young QB to pair with Cassel.

And where does this leave the Vikings? With Cassel off the market, Minnesota would have to turn to the market to find another QB to compete with Christian Ponder and/or whatever quarterback they pick up in the draft.

Michael Vick, Josh McCown, Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson are among the mostly unappealing options that will be available. Schaub seems likely to join that list, especially if Houston lands Cassel. Mark Sanchez is also likely to be cut in the coming days.

Not exactly a smorgasbord of great QB names. But that’s how it is when you’re in QB limbo like the Vikings. You get to pick through everyone else’s discards.

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