Matt Cassel QB MIN 5 Months

The Houston Chronicle would be "stunned" if the Texans signed free agent Matt Cassel.

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora "anticipate(s)" that Cassel is Houston-bound, but reporter John McClain is much closer to the situation. McClain does believe the Texans could sign two veteran backups to mentor a potential first-rounder, so it's not as if Cassel doesn't make sense on paper. Cassel will be in demand as a capable backup.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 5 Months

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora "anticipate(s)" that the Texans will sign free agent Matt Cassel.

The dots connect, as new Texans coach Bill O'Brien was on New England's staff during Cassel's "breakout" 2008 season, and Houston could use a veteran bridge QB if it's to draft Blake Bortles, as expected. Bortles isn't ready to start in the NFL. Cassel already has a general understanding of O'Brien's offense.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 5 Months

The Vikings will meet with the player rep for free agent QB Matt Cassel Thursday.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 6 Months

A source tells 1500ESPN.com that Matt Casssel intends to void his contract by Friday's deadline, therefore becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 6 Months

Matt Cassel has until Friday to void his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.

We'd be surprised if Cassel pulled the trigger here. His total compensation for 2014 is $3.7 million ($3.15 base, $500K roster bonus, $50K workout bonus) and he has a chance to be the Vikings starter in Week 1. Cassel would be unlikely to find a better spot or more money on the open market. Meanwhile, the Vikings have until the seventh day of the new league year (March 18) to decide whether to pay Cassel that $500K workout bonus or dump him.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 7 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 7 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 7 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 8 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 8 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.