Matt Cassel Isn’t Worth Keeping Around at $4.7 Million


The Vikings will have some tough decisions to make this offseason with some of their veteran players. But here’s a decision that shouldn’t be tough at all: what to do with Matt Cassel.

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This one should be a slam dunk for Rick Spielman. He’s got to move on from Matt Cassel.

Last year Cassel signed a two-year deal worth $10.5 million. That contract is set to pay Cassel $4.75 million in 2015 with $600,000 in roster and workout bonuses. With Teddy Bridgewater now firmly entrenched as the starting QB for the coming year and beyond, it makes zero sense to pay Cassel that much money.

Cassel was signed last year with the knowledge that a quarterback would be taken high in the draft. In essence, he was signed as an insurance policy. The Vikings wanted a reliable veteran in place for a couple years just in case they made a mistake in the draft.

Obviously, drafting Teddy Bridgewater was the opposite of a mistake. Bridgewater not only took over in 2014, he played some outstanding ball and proved that he’s ready to be the leader of the offense.

Having a veteran backup behind a young QB is never a bad thing, but a good solid veteran can be picked up for a hell of a lot less than $4.75 million.

Among this year’s free agent QBs, only Matt Moore made more money last year than Cassel is set to make in 2015. A perfectly acceptable veteran #2 can be picked up for $2 million a year or less. A player like Moore, or Matt Flynn or Jimmy Clausen would be adequate as a backup. And a lot cheaper than Cassel.

Those names don’t sound exciting but that’s the point: we’re talking about a veteran backup.

Cassel was signed to his deal last year with the understanding that he’d be the starter to begin 2014, and he was paid accordingly. The team’s circumstances have changed and so their needs have changed. They no longer need a #2 QB who could start the season as the #1. A straight #2 would come much cheaper than Cassel.

If the Vikings want to bring Cassel back for half the money, I’d be cool with that. But if Cassel won’t take that deal, then they should move on. And it’s not a tough call.