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One year, $4 million for Cassel

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To the extent that the status of quarterback Matt Cassel as a potential starter in Minnesota depends on what the team will pay him, the answer is, well, unclear.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Cassel signed a one-year, $4 million contract.  That’s $3.5 million less than he would have earned with the Chiefs in 2013.

Current starter Christian Ponder signed a four-year, $10.15 million deal in 2011, a slotted contract based on the new rookie wage scale.

So, yes, Cassel is making more money than Ponder.  Which means that, yes, there’s a chance he’ll be viewed as having a chance to win the job.

It would still be odd for the Vikings to scrap Ponder after only two full seasons.  Besides, plenty of backups make more money than young starters with slotted rookie deals.

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63 Responses to “One year, $4 million for Cassel”
  1. vik3z says: Mar 14, 2013 10:40 PM

    that 4 million dollar number is right on par with other top tier backup QBs. why do u try to start drama all the time. ponders the starter unless he dies before the season starts

  2. jaredo10 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:41 PM

    that was quick.. good for him good luck deuceee 2.0

  3. boobschannel says: Mar 14, 2013 10:43 PM

    non-story. how much does russell wilson make? and matt flynn?

  4. nineroutsider says: Mar 14, 2013 10:46 PM

    I’d rather start Ponder over Cassel. His 3rd year will only be better.

  5. mazblast says: Mar 14, 2013 10:47 PM

    Viking fans, if you think Ponder is bad, wait until you see Matt “But I Went to USC So I Must Be Great” Cassel.

  6. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 14, 2013 10:47 PM

    The only way Cassel becomes the starter is if Ponder gets hurt or is consistently ineffective. You don’t give a one-year contract to a QB who you think is going to be your starter.

  7. slickster35 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:47 PM

    That’s 3.95 million too much for this bum.

    Good luck Vikes, and give Ponder a chance. The alternative is downright horrible.

  8. jsally430 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:51 PM

    ponder was drafted before the slotted draft salaries

  9. jpopejoy says: Mar 14, 2013 10:53 PM

    LOL. Sorry vikes. Cassel goes blank with any pressure and doesn’t go through progressions. 1st read then outlet (if he doesn’t panic and take the sack)

  10. shaggytoodle says: Mar 14, 2013 10:53 PM

    Just that much more evidence the Vikings should have went elsewhere with that 1st round pick.

  11. northshorejag says: Mar 14, 2013 10:54 PM

    Wow…he was out of work for like five minutes

  12. zeeman911 says: Mar 14, 2013 10:56 PM

    I really thought cassel would go back to new England and back up Brady…

  13. operwapitsai says: Mar 14, 2013 10:57 PM

    As a long time vikes fan, I am all for Ponder. However, I am all for a competition at every position every year. Bring it on. May the best man (qb) win

  14. joroberts10 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:02 PM

    That opening sentence is very confusing

  15. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 14, 2013 11:05 PM

    Team needs two quality players at the position now. Very seldom one makes it through a full season healthy. At the very least they’re beat up and hobbling by the time the playoffs roll around.

  16. midwestvike says: Mar 14, 2013 11:07 PM

    Ponder has only had one full year. He was not the starter at the beginning of his rookie year. That was the train wreck McNabb

  17. gmsalpha says: Mar 14, 2013 11:07 PM

    Percy Harvin would have TWO boneheaded QBs to complain about now, if he were still in Minnie.

  18. paulcanavati says: Mar 14, 2013 11:10 PM

    The job is Ponder’s to lose. Cassel is exactly what this team needed for a backup, but Ponder better watch his arse if he wants to keep his job. 3 sub 100 yard games aren’t going to cut it this year

  19. thefox61 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:10 PM

    Is Cassel flying 2 birds in that picture?

  20. repmochief says: Mar 14, 2013 11:11 PM


  21. thepasswordis12345 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:15 PM

    They could pay Sean Salisbury $4 million to come back and ride the bench. It would give Sean plenty of time to work on his testosterone production and get paid for it. Not sure that wouldn’t be a wiser use of money than paying Matt Cassel to suck.

  22. gergie1957 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:19 PM

    As already stated by the Vikings, As long as the guy we bring in knows he will not challenge for Ponders starting job, all will be cool. Paraphrasing of course.

  23. cmonelisha says: Mar 14, 2013 11:20 PM

    i used to think the same about ponder, being that hes still young..but with all these 1st year rookies coming in lighting it up and making the playoffs these past 3-4 years its becoming a move either you got it or you dont league for qbs

  24. rayvens says: Mar 14, 2013 11:20 PM

    M.Cassel=k.Kolb=M.Flyn=Alex Smith=career backups=bums

  25. thepoliticalfirebrand says: Mar 14, 2013 11:24 PM

    The only one who has said Cassel would compete is Schefter. All the Vikings beat guys say Ponder is the starter unless he is injured.

  26. unshavenjunk says: Mar 14, 2013 11:25 PM

    I can’t wait to watch Cassel heave the ball downfield to John Carlson…glad we cut Winfield to pay our backups

  27. mjkelly77 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:27 PM

    Ponder? Cassel? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    I’m still laughin’.

  28. 4thqtrsaint says: Mar 14, 2013 11:28 PM

    Stick with Ponder.

  29. jdavis20 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:36 PM

    As a Lions fan, I can honestly tell you that I think Minnesota is the worst team in the division talent wise.

    -Average qb
    -No true #1 receiver
    -Decent but not great defense
    -Matt Cassel as a backup for 4 million
    -Lost their 2nd best offensive player and their best corner

    These are some of the reasons why I think Minnesota will end up in the basement again like they were the year before last. The Lions historically have sucked for a long time, but even the Viking fans have to agree that this team isn’t talented enough without AP carrying the load to make a playoff push.

    AP is the main reason they were good at all last year.

  30. pistolpete31 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:37 PM

    Wait, what?

  31. mnvikes7897 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:38 PM

    Dude. All the free agents out there and we sign MC. Def a better #2 but dang man. GO GET A CORNER OR SOMETHING!

  32. squared80 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:44 PM

    No, there is actually no chance he’ll have a chance to win the starting job. Christian Ponder will be given the full reigns of the starting gig for all of 2013, barring injury.

  33. shear061 says: Mar 14, 2013 11:47 PM

    That would make no sense if they scrapped ponder.

  34. 1oldpro says: Mar 14, 2013 11:48 PM

    Cassel is probably glad Harvin is not around to trash the new QB. Not a Vikings fan but I hope someone comes in and does a good job for them. It would suit me fine. I like it when the Vikings play well. It makes things up there more, well, black and blue and purple.

  35. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 14, 2013 11:50 PM

    Matt lets the Steeler players know that he just wants to be a guy standing on the sideline wearing a headset. “Lighten up, guys.”.

  36. wludford says: Mar 15, 2013 12:14 AM

    Cassel is making more than Ponder because Ponder is on his rookie deal. Cassel is replacing Webb, not challenging Ponder for the starting job. The Vikings have said as much, and I’m sure were upfront with Cassel about it before he signed.

    Having said that, $4m is too much for a backup, and I’m sure that won’t be the deal going forward. I’m sure the hope is that MBT will become the backup, for about $3.5m less than Cassel.

  37. vols84 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:20 AM

    The news just keeps getting better for the Vikings.

  38. zn0rseman says: Mar 15, 2013 12:22 AM

    I am not sure where all the Ponder hate comes from. Last year he was essentially a rookie (had no off season and little playing time in 2011 due to the strike) and he put up very respectible numbers with absolutely no help from his receivers.

    Cassel is a good pickup for the Vikings but Ponder has shown that he can be the future and earned his starting role.

  39. thetooloftools says: Mar 15, 2013 12:37 AM

    Money well burnt.

  40. riverhorsey says: Mar 15, 2013 12:46 AM

    Matt must of had a couple other teams wanting him if he got that much. Good deal for him.

  41. wadecounty93 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:56 AM

    I think I would rather pick up Fitzpatrick. Although if you want to talk FA QBs I know that Matt Moore deserves and could start in this league. Im sure someone will trade for him, but hey im a dolphins fan!!

  42. jeremycrowhurst says: Mar 15, 2013 12:57 AM

    Having lost Percy Harvin, the Vikings are well below the salary cap floor, and so far it hasn’t looked like any big-ticket free agents are coming to help relieve them of that burden.

    That may have something to do with this contract….

  43. matthewcarlson1 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:05 AM

    Don’t buy anything Spielman says, Cassel will start at some point this season, unless Ponder takes a huge leap forward this offseason.

  44. fm31970 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:08 AM

    This makes no sense for the Vikings. Why sign another QB who preforms at the same level as Ponder? I guess if you want a decent backup it works, but do they really believe that strongly Ponder is the franchise QB?

    Maybe they have plans to draft another QB, and we all know they’ll ride A.P. into the ground (that makes sense, he’s awesome), but this team needs to increase the level of talent, period. And don’t respond with the “they were a playoff team last season!”. Yeah, so were the Chiefs two seasons ago with Cassel, and it was merely a mirage. The Vikes rode A.P.’s incredible season into the playoffs, and that’s not happening again. Ponder will need to throw the football for them to win, and that’s a problem.

  45. cliffordc05 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:11 AM

    The new numbers in the NFL will lead to a number of backups making less than the starter at quarterback. Four million has become the high end for second string quarterbacks (possibly a little higher in Seattle) but the rookie wage scale mandates that many starters will get less. There is no need for speculation as to who the starter will be.

  46. eatitfanboy says: Mar 15, 2013 1:13 AM

    How is bringing someone in to compete with Ponder “scrapping” him?

    Maybe they feel that Ponder should be ready to earn his job against a legitimate challenger after two years of not having to worry about it.

    When did competition become such a terrible thing?

  47. tramonisland says: Mar 15, 2013 1:13 AM

    So Greg Jennings will finally get the star QB he’s been wishing for in Minny.

  48. romospersonalsnuggie says: Mar 15, 2013 1:16 AM

    The Vikings shouldn’t have to PONDER who their Qb should be

  49. schwenke76 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:19 AM

    Yes! Cassel and his great talents will take all the burden off Peterson and the Vikings are on their way to the Super Bowl!!! <—— said no Viking fan ever…

  50. taintedsaints2009 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:40 AM

    Only the Vikings would think paying a backup that much is a good idea. If you don’t sign Jennings because you didn’t offer him enough money, this is the reason you didn’t have enough money.

    Here’s what I think happens: ponder starts but does poorly for about half the season. He is benched. Cassel comes in. Plays well. Next season there is a competition. Cassel wins. Plays poorly. Ponder comes in. Play well…Vikings draft a new qb the next year because of uncertainty at position. Either ponder or cassel start, but is eventually replaced by the new rookie. New rookie shows promise. Starts the entire next season, plays mediocre. Vikings get another veteran backup who then eventually beats out the new rookie…

    And around and around the Vikings go with their qb situation.

    The reason I think this: because its been happening since Sean Salisbury was the qb.

    Way to go speilman. Your already sensitive qb has another veteran breathing down his neck. That should go well…

  51. handlethehandles says: Mar 15, 2013 1:50 AM

    one year 4 million seems high.. Untill you watched the last vikings game.. how much would you have paid to put in cassel that day…. Thanks Joe webb for all the good times… and great memories… OUT…

  52. srock68 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:08 AM

    Good move by the vikes. They couldn’t go into the new year with Webb as the backup. Let’s go Ponder!

  53. bigdogsolec says: Mar 15, 2013 2:18 AM

    2 full sesons with ponder ? try 1 3/8

  54. gtodriver says: Mar 15, 2013 7:14 AM

    If Matt comes in and performs lights out in TC while Ponder struggles – he should win the starting job.

    But if they only signed him to a one year contract – that surely isn’t the plan.

    Signing a QB for only a one year deal that you think really has a shot to be your starter makes no sense.

  55. joetoronto says: Mar 15, 2013 8:21 AM

    4 million for Matt Cassel, really?


  56. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 15, 2013 9:08 AM

    “Potential starter.” It sure has a nice ring to it.

    Matt, I’d like you to meet Christian. Christian, I’d like you to meet your replacement.

  57. vikefan says: Mar 15, 2013 10:05 AM

    clipboard duty still pays exteremely well these days.

    i’m also sure Vikings already have 1 eye on 2014 draft with possiblity of much higher qb talent in that draft, if ponder does not continue to improve & cassell on a 1 year deal they could scrap the entire position after the 2013 season if necessary.

  58. mrphelps01 says: Mar 15, 2013 10:24 AM

    Ponder is THAT bad?

  59. theytukrjobs says: Mar 15, 2013 12:24 PM

    4 mil is common for an upper tier backup, which Cassel is. Ponder will have the starting job but the leash is going to be shorter with Cassel on the club.

    Cassel obviously has had an up and down career but he posted very healthy statistics in 2008 and 2010. And the Vikings scheme doesn’t require a whole lot from the QB position. Cassel has adequete skills to hand off to Peterson and occasionally throw passes against single safety zone defenses.

  60. klutch14u says: Mar 15, 2013 12:52 PM

    Cassel is as classy and hard working as them come. Unfortunately unless you guys hire Charlie Weis as your xbox game controller operator you’re screwed.

  61. rickytheviking says: Mar 15, 2013 1:15 PM

    To all of you Cassel haters

    Didn’t he take the Patriots to a 11-5 record?

  62. brewdogg says: Mar 15, 2013 3:20 PM

    The dime from Brew:

    A veteran QB who has experienced the highs and lows of the position and has experience as a team’s starter and purported savior being on hand to chat with Ponder every day? Wow, what a terrible thing….. Maybe they paid him a little much, but it looks like they are striking out on the FA market, so why not? Considering the way things are going, why not use all that cap space to trade for Fitz and see where that takes them. Of course, that will mean $30 mil/year between Fitz and AD, which is extremely handcuffing, but what do they have to lose at this point?

  63. boobschannel says: Mar 15, 2013 5:09 PM

    his contract is actually for 2 years, but he’s able to void the contract at the end of this season. numbers up on tom pelissero twitter

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