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Matt Cassel to start Vikings finale, Freeman likely inactive

Josh Freeman, Matt Cassell AP

The week-to-week identity of the starting quarterback has been one of the biggest questions — and biggest problems — for the Vikings this year.

But with one game to go — perhaps in his career there — Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has raised the “why bother” flag.

Frazier told reporters that Matt Cassel would start the finale against the Lions Sunday, with Christian Ponder as the backup.

“I don’t know what would change that as the week goes on, but that’s the thought process as we speak,” Frazier said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Cassel has played decently at times this year, even well at others. But he fell flat against the Bengals, with four turnovers to go with 114 passing yards.

Of course, the Vikings have as little certainty at the position, as Cassel can opt out of his deal, while Ponder will be entering the final year of his rookie deal having proved little. And then there’s Josh Freeman, the short-term rental who got one start after leaving Tampa Bay, and has since been buried.

“[Freeman] picked up things well and worked hard in practice,” Frazier said. “He’s still doing those things, picking up the offense, working hard, spending time with coaches doing all the things he needs to do. But 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.”

That doesn’t speak well to Freeman’s future anywhere, or to the decision to waste a pile of money on him to stand around watching Cassel play.

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29 Responses to “Matt Cassel to start Vikings finale, Freeman likely inactive”
  1. sddartman says: Dec 24, 2013 9:16 AM

    It’s better to spend 2 million now to find out he can’t hit the broad side of a barn than to spend 10 million on him in free agency and then find that out.

  2. nec1est1tempus says: Dec 24, 2013 9:33 AM

    I don’t think Leslie Frazier has ever shown the “why bother” flag as stated by Gantt in his post. Whether Frazier remains the coach of the Vikings or not, neither he, nor his players has shown any signs of quitting or “why bother.”

  3. babyfarkmcgeezax says: Dec 24, 2013 9:34 AM

    Top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL:

    1. Peyton Manning
    2. Drew Brees
    3. Matt Cassel
    4. Christian Ponder
    5. Josh Freeman

    In that order.

  4. eagleswin says: Dec 24, 2013 9:39 AM

    I’m not sure why they didn’t give Freeman more of a chance after bringing him in. They played him one game where they rushed him before he knew the playbook. You are paying the guy at least give him another chance to show he can play rather than giving Matt Cassell another meaningless start

  5. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 24, 2013 9:41 AM

    Freeman laughs all the way to the bank over this one. Hope he’s been smart with this year’s nfl windfall he’s not likely to ever get another one

  6. f1restarter says: Dec 24, 2013 9:42 AM

    Scott Tolzien > Cassel, Freeman, & Ponder.

  7. orivar says: Dec 24, 2013 9:43 AM

    I really don’t understand Frazier’s indecision. The one guy who played where he showed he didn’t have chemistry with the team but also showed poise in the pocket, stood firm and tall and through his up and downs he’s been alright.

    So why not play him? You’re 4-10-1! You don’t have anything to win and your staff is awful. At least can try something different on what is likely the last game for for Frazier, Musgrave & Co. as vikings coaches.

  8. jimmysee says: Dec 24, 2013 9:47 AM

    Vikings fans should remember the multi-million$$ paid to Freeman to stink it up in one game and then be inactive for the remainder of the season when they’re asked to cough up big PSL buck$$ for seats at that new stadium.

  9. purpleguy says: Dec 24, 2013 9:47 AM

    For all Frazier’s faults, indifference isn’t one of them. Very poor interpretation of his quote, but an accurate interpretation of our weak QB situation. This should be a busy off-season.

  10. alstottwastheman says: Dec 24, 2013 9:52 AM

    Don’t forget everybody, Schiano was an idiot for cutting a great talent like josh freeman.

  11. mn1288 says: Dec 24, 2013 9:54 AM

    Frazier is just hoping this seals his fate…Get away from the dog show and keep his money at the same time.

  12. zygiwilfsmenorah says: Dec 24, 2013 9:59 AM

    Oh for the love… just sign Tommy Kramer already. We all know where this thing is headed.

  13. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 24, 2013 10:09 AM

    The Vikings – meaningless football for meaningless people.

  14. realfootballfan says: Dec 24, 2013 10:25 AM

    Yea, if I were a Viking fan I’d want Rick Spielman around to make personnel decisions and hire the next head coach though, lol.

  15. TBaySlim says: Dec 24, 2013 10:29 AM

    filthymcnasty1 says:
    Dec 24, 2013 10:09 AM
    The Vikings – meaningless football for meaningless people.

    *****************************************
    Biggest closet Vikings fan of them, we get it dude you love the vikings, Like clock work Flithy on the vikings blogs to profess his love for purple an and seek utter pitty for living in sconny and once idiolizing the pack, we hope santa brings you a Purple jersey for xmas

  16. bucrightoff says: Dec 24, 2013 10:35 AM

    Amazing how much money this guy lost from the middle of last season until now. Gotta be at least $50 million.

  17. stellarperformance says: Dec 24, 2013 11:47 AM

    Keep Cassell for one or two years…..he’s serviceable and other “fixes” could take place until they find a QB of the future.

  18. fdugrad says: Dec 24, 2013 12:28 PM

    There MUST be a story lurking in the background regarding Freeman. What IS the deep, dark mystery that has happened with TWO teams? It is MOST strange, don’t you think?

  19. hardcase59 says: Dec 24, 2013 1:23 PM

    They’ll definately keep one of the three. Just which one is the question. Cassel would be the one i’d choose as he would be the best of the three to mentor our new quarterback. If we can keep him at a decent price that is.

  20. theallegedone says: Dec 24, 2013 2:04 PM

    Obviously Cassel will start. He signed a 2 year deal in Minnesota. He isn’t the long term starter. But neither is Ponder. The Vikings will draft a quarterback. Hopefully the new one doesn’t get thrown into the fire right away. But in reality it all comes down to who’s coaching this team. If it’s still Frazier and his group of inept coordinators, the new qb will play behind Cassel for awhile. Better Cassel to learn from than Ponder. Yes, Cassel isn’t the greatest, but he did sit behind Brady. If it’s a whole new staff with a whole new system, the rookie will start. I just hope it’s a dual threat qb (Carr, Manziel, Hundley). I think a fast qb, matched with A.P. & Patterson would be an awesome and dangerous offense. If not, roll with Cassel all year, hope for a terrible year and get Jameis Winston in 2015

  21. vn2b says: Dec 24, 2013 2:04 PM

    everyday I’m seeing a Freeman “storyline.” Stop wasting time/energy on him and concentrate on fixing Vikes main problem(s) which begin with coaching. Aint knocking Frazier as incompetent or anything but a “new infusion” is def necessary in MN.
    Give him another yr (if you’re this owner, that is) to “do another” another playoff yr or “bust.” Simple as that. (tell Fraz this going into 2014, straight up)
    Have “Chucky” Gruden ready n waiting in the wings to gather up his “cabinet members” (staff) & watch Vikes TAKE OFF in 2yrs time, to NFC champ game level status most likely, if not sooner.
    Starts with a “VISION.” Plays out on an “ATTITUDE.”
    Ends with a NFL contending caliber team.
    Chucky knows QB’s/WR’s/RB’s…in short, Offense. He knows where to shop/get a D-coordinator.
    All’s that’s left is (hopefully a whiz kid type) special teams coach , and voila!

    But, MN ownership never seems to figure this out. After Bud Grant, Denny Green was best move they’ve ever made, coaching wise. They’ll likely bypass this crucial idea/ingredient.

    “nice buffet…eh?” (like Canadians, “eh?”)

  22. jerrykill4pres says: Dec 24, 2013 2:09 PM

    Once they knew they had no more interest in freeman, why didn’t they cut him, save the rest of that money, and then maybe use that to restructure or maybe resign guys like Allen, or Williams. Front load the contract.

    Sure Allen and Williams are getting a little long in the tooth. But, you can’t just drop both of them in one offseason. Spielman is messing this team up worse than he did the dolphins. You drop both of those guys on an aging defense. Which already stinks, your just giving yourself even more holes to fill. You gave up on a guy like Winfield. Who would have been the best CB on this team this year. So now you have Rhodes, and Harrison Smith. That’s it! Plus you wasted money on Freeman. So you have holes everywhere! Good luck with that guys….

  23. surfinbird1 says: Dec 24, 2013 2:09 PM

    Josh still holding the playbook upside down.

  24. chawk12thman says: Dec 24, 2013 2:13 PM

    Freeman already had his fate sealed when he failed to wow them in the one game with only a very short notice with little prep time. Based on that, they decided to bury him. Really looks like a very bad move. He will be cut just as the coach will be fired. Rebuilding around Peterson will be this next year’s goal with a new coaching staff.

  25. jmorand47 says: Dec 24, 2013 2:56 PM

    As a Viking fan I just don’t get it. Why sign a guy, give him one start when he barely knows the offense, leave him in the game when it’s obvious he still needs time to learn it, especially in a game that was winnable, then you never give him another chance. This is on a coaching staff that was repeatedly outcoached. But Don’t worry, As Leslie Frazier says, “We’ll get this fixed.” The good thing is, there is still one game left to fix it.

  26. timaug says: Dec 24, 2013 3:50 PM

    If he gets healthy, I could see Freeman as the starter next year.
    But, if they still have Frazier and that awful coaching staff , they will still be losers.

    FIRE FRAZIER !

  27. timaug says: Dec 24, 2013 3:51 PM

    Frazier is a good guy,

    BUT NOT A HEAD COACH.

  28. thetruthcampaign says: Dec 25, 2013 12:23 AM

    The only way I watch the game of the weak this week is if Shaun Hill starts for the Lions.

  29. whatjusthapped says: Dec 25, 2013 12:40 PM

    I take exception to the ‘why bother flag” comment. Frazier’s choice of starting QB is like being the Recreational Director on the Titanic. You can re-arrange the deck chairs all you want, your fate was sealed by decisions made a long time ago. In Frazier’s case, it was the god awful draft of 2005 where the Vikings left Rodgers on the board not once but twice and then years later settled on consensus third or fourth round level pick at #12 overall.

    To not win a Superbowl takes wise front office moves like this.

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