Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Matt Cassel has found a new home, agreeing
to become Christian Ponder's new backup in Minnesota.
Cassel signed a deal with the Vikings Friday.
The 30-year-old Cassel spent the past four seasons in Kansas City and had two
years remaining on the massive $63 million dollar deal he signed shortly after
being acquired from New England. A poor 2012 season sealed his fate with the
Chiefs, who acquired Alex Smith in a trade with San Francisco and signed Chase
Daniel as a backup in the first couple days of free agency.
Cassel originally joined the Chiefs in July 2009 after leading the Patriots to
11 wins while Tom Brady missed the 2008 season with a knee injury. After the
Chiefs struggled in Cassel's first year, he helped the club to a surprise AFC
West title in 2010.
The 30-year-old USC product played just 18 games over the past two seasons
because of injuries and ineffectiveness. He suffered a concussion in early
October this past season and played just nine games, throwing for 1,796 yards
with six touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Cassel completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 9,549 yards with 59 touchdowns
and 44 interceptions during his four seasons in Kansas City. His 2010 campaign
included 3,116 yards with 27 touchdowns and just seven picks.
A seventh-round pick of the Patriots in 2005, Cassel had thrown just 39 passes
in his first three seasons as Brady's backup before being thrust into the
starter's role in the 2008 season opener. He went on to throw for 3,693 yards
with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions that season.
The Vikings have stayed loyal to Ponder, who has struggled mightily at times
himself, and Cassel isn't expected to challenge for the starting job in
However, the veteran should prove to be a significant upgrade from Joe Webb,
who flamed out as an injury replacement for Ponder in the team's playoff game
at Green Bay last season.
The Sports Network