Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Matt Cassel can void the final year of his Vikings contract in February.

Cassel's 2014 salary is scheduled at $3.15 million, but he has a player option that would allow Cassel to test free agency. Cassel probably wouldn't get much more than that in free agency, and Minnesota gives him his best chance to start games in 2014. We suspect he'll return, though that's far from certain.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Matt Cassel completed 20-of-33 throws for 189 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the Vikings' Week 17 win over the Lions.

Cassel wound up playing the best 2013 football among Minnesota's three-headed quarterback carousel that also involved Josh Freeman and Christian Ponder, although that obviously isn't saying much. The 31-year-old journeyman finished with an 11:9 TD-to-INT ratio across nine appearances with six starts. Cassel is owed a $3.15 million base salary with a player option for 2014. The Vikings need to rethink their entire quarterback depth chart, and very likely will. Cassel would be best served returning as a backup.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Coach Leslie Frazier confirmed Monday that Matt Cassel will start in Week 17 against the Lions.

"With one game left and having a chance to watch Matt play again, we made the decision and that's probably the way we'll go," said Frazier. Despite Sunday's four-turnover meltdown at Cincinnati, Cassel has been the Vikings' best quarterback this year. That, of course, is not saying much. Christian Ponder will back up Cassel against Detroit, with Josh Freeman inactive yet again.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Matt Cassel completed 26-of-35 passes for 382 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in Sunday's Week 15 win over the Eagles.

Cassel also added a 6-yard touchdown run as he absolutely shredded an Eagles secondary that took a major step backward. And once again, he did it by featuring Greg Jennings (11/163/1) -- something Christian Ponder hadn't been able to do all year. The hot Cassel has certainly earned another start in Week 16 and increased his trade value, but the matchup (at Cincy) is not right. He'll be a desperation QB2 only.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Matt Cassel will start Sunday's game against the Eagles.

Christian Ponder (concussion) has been cleared, but he won't get his job back. The Vikings will instead stick with Cassel, who has gone 37-of-71 (52.1 percent) for 508 yards with three touchdowns and one interception over the last two weeks -- an overtime win against the Bears and a brutal late loss at Baltimore. Cassel isn't a fantasy option himself, but he improves the outlooks of Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson. Ponder was inept at getting that duo the ball.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Matt Cassel completed 17-of-38 passes for two touchdowns in Minnesota's wild Week 14 loss to the Ravens.

Cassel didn't do anything fancy, but was a major improvement on Christian Ponder, working his connections with Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson to great effect. The Vikings' passing offense was as effective as it's been in some time despite the absence of Adrian Peterson (foot) and snowy conditions in Baltimore. The biggest story was Cassel's rapport with Patterson, who finished his day 5/141/1. Regardless of Ponder's (concussion) health, it's quite possible Cassel will remain under center in Week 15 against the Eagles.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 5 Months4 Comments

Coach Leslie Frazier said Matt Cassel will probably start at Baltimore Sunday if Christian Ponder (concussion) can't get cleared.

Ponder's status is unknown as he continues to go through protocols. Either way, the Vikings have to be considering starting Cassel. He's been far better at moving the offense, actually getting Greg Jennings involved on a regular basis. We'll know more after Wednesday's practice.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 5 Months

Matt Cassel replaced a benched Christian Ponder in the fourth quarter of Week 11, and completed 5-of-13 passes for 78 yards, one touchdown, and an interception as Minnesota fell to Seattle.

Aside from a scoring strike to Jarius Wright, Cassel's "standout" play was an interception to Seahawks MLB Bobby Wagner. The Vikings are obviously reeling at quarterback and may turn to Josh Freeman next. Cassel isn't the answer.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 5 Months

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was noncommittal on Friday when asked the identity of his Week 11 starting quarterback.

"Haven't decided that just yet," said Frazier. Frazier told reporters he'd need to see Christian Ponder (shoulder) practicing by next Thursday in order to play. That seems unlikely if reports that Ponder has a dislocated non-throwing shoulder are correct. Otherwise, it'll be either Matt Cassel or Josh Freeman.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 5 Months

On in relief of Christian Ponder (shoulder), Matt Cassel completed 4-of-6 passes for 47 yards in Minnesota's Week 10 win over the Redskins.

Cassel oversaw just two drives, as Ponder went down near the end of the third quarter. Ponder has a dislocated left shoulder, but hasn't been ruled out for Week 11. If he can't go, it's quite possible the Vikings will turn to Josh Freeman even though they went with Cassel this evening. Minnesota's $3 million mid-season investment, Freeman, would have 10 days to get ready for the Seahawks if he gets the call. The Vikings know what they have in Cassel. They need to get another look at Freeman.