Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) throws the ball against the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings won 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Should I stay or should I go? That was the question for The Clash. And that is the question for Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel.
Cassel’s two year deal gives him the option to bail before the second year kicks in. But Cassel won’t have much longer to mull whether he will void the deal. The QB has until this Friday to decide: let the contract expire and walk, or remain in Minnesota for another year.
Should Cassel void his contract, the Vikings will have only one QB on the roster for 2014, that being Christian Ponder. If Cassel elects to pick up the contract, then the Vikings will have two veteran options as they proceed into free agency and the draft.
Cassel was by far the Vikings’ most effective QB in 2013, completing 60 percent of his passes for 1807 yards, 11 touchdowns and 9 picks in six starts. His command of the offense seemed worlds ahead of Christian Ponder, despite Ponder’s greater experience at running that offense.
Josh Freeman, we don’t even need to talk about.
If Cassel stays, he gets a $3.15 million base for 2014 and could earn up to $550,000 in bonuses. If he leaves, he dips into a free agent quarterback pool that is not exactly the deepest we’ve seen.
Arguably, Cassel would be the most attractive free agent QB available. With multiple teams possibly being in the market for a veteran QB, Cassel might think he can hit the market and score a better contract.
Cassel also knows the reality in Minnesota. The Vikings want a long-term option at QB, and they have a high first round pick this year. Cassel may not want to stick around and have to compete with a stud rookie.
Or, maybe Cassel looks at that safe $3 million and decides, what the heck, I’ll stick around and pull a nice paycheck. The Vikings of course can always opt to cut Cassel after the option is picked up. So even if he picks it up, he’s not guaranteed a job in 2014.
A pretty tough decision for Cassel. Lots of money on the line. No question, he’ll land somewhere in 2014. He played well enough in 2013 that some team will give him a job.