When Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel opted out of the second year of his contract, passing on the chance to make $3.7 million in 2014, the dot-connecting process began.
And the brightest line connected the former Chiefs starter to Bill O’Brien in Houston.
Cassel led the Patriots to an 11-5 record during O’Brien’s only season as receivers coach in New England. The following year, Cassel landed in Kansas City and O’Brien became the de facto offensive coordinator in New England, replacing Josh McDaniels. (O’Brien wouldn’t get the title until 2011.)
Now, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that mutual interest exists between Cassel and the Texans.
Unless the Texans don’t plan to draft a quarterback in round one (or two), Cassel at best would be a Kurt Warner (New York, not Arizona) placeholder for the rookie, possibly yielding the position as early as the pick is officially made. And Cassel is smart enough to know that he wouldn’t be playing for very long, if at all, if the Texans end up with Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel.
That said, serving as the placeholder and mentor to a rookie could be Cassel’s best bet. Though he played well in 2013, having a direct role in each of the Vikings’ five wins, any team that would make him the starter from the moment he signs also could be taking a quarterback in rounds one or two, necessarily making Cassel’s tenure at the top of the depth chart a short one.