Report: Matt Cassel to opt out of contract


Earlier this week, we discussed the decision that Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel has to make this week regarding his contract.

Cassel has until Friday to opt out of the final year of the two-year deal he signed with the Vikings before last season, the first half of a mutual option on the deal that also gives the Vikings the right to pay $500,000 to Cassel to void the final year in the event he lets Friday pass without taking any action. According to a report from Darren Wolfson of KTSP and 1500 ESPN, they won’t have a decision to make.

Wolfson reports that Cassel will void the final year of the deal, which comes with a $3.7 million salary, and become a free agent. Doing so suggests Cassel and his agent believe they can land either more money or a better chance to start on the open market. The Vikings are expected to be actively looking for a quarterback this offseason, something that could leave another quarterback with a chance to open the season in the lineup if they draft a quarterback who isn’t ready to go in Week One.

If Cassel is opting out, Christian Ponder will be the only quarterback on the roster when free agency starts in March. That would only add more urgency to their search for help at the position, although Cassel could still wind up back in Minnesota even after opting out.

77 responses to “Report: Matt Cassel to opt out of contract

  1. Hey, it’s a free market, and in the unlikely event he can get more than $3.7M and start elsewhere, more power to him. It may be his strategy to get a longer term deal from the Vikes. Regardless, it seems the Vikes are once again screwed at QB for 2014.

  2. thevikesarebest says:
    Feb 5, 2014 10:32 AM

    The Vikings>your franchise.especially the no class shehawks and cheeseheads.

    Superbowl wins-

    Packers: 4

    Seahawks: 1

    Vikings: 0


  4. Oh geez, if Cassel really thinks he’s going to get more money that $3.7 million to start someplace else, he’s lost his marbles.

    Time for the Vikings to look at trading up for Johnny Football!

  5. Cassel’s best chance at becoming a starter is one of the six QB needy teams missing out on drafting the guy they like. He’d still have to beat out Sanchez, Schaub or Cousins to have that shot.

    I’d think that it is more likely that his agent believes strongly that Mallet is going to be traded and that Cassel can return home to the Patriots, a la Flynn to the Pack. It is a move that makes sense for him. He’s had success in that system and they are a perennial contender. If you are going to be a backup anyway, why not try to go somewhere that a ring is a possibility?

  6. I have a hard time seeing any team that’s going to pay him more than $3.7 million next year. Even the bottom teams in need of a QB aren’t going to pony up $3.7 mill for him. I say Vikes, let him go because he’s not the answer at QB and there’s no need to OVER spend on him since you’re in the process of re-doing the roster.

    Cassel best option will be to find a backup job or a temporary start until a rookie is ready, cause he’s no teams long term solution. Then again, I can’t see any team paying more that $3.7 million to preform those duties.

  7. aikmanschinstrap,

    Minnesota is a cesspool of a state? really? A state that has a high average income, the best health care, high education rate and amazing schools, has the fittest metro area, a thriving arts community, is a music mecca, tons of cutting edge restaurants, miles and miles of trails, 11,000 lakes for fishing, boating, kayaking, etc., clean air and water…..That sounds like a cesspool, ‘eh?

    Or are there just not enough Hooters and Wal Marts for you?

    Shall I assume you are from the country of Texas?

  8. “If Cassel is opting out, Christian Ponder will be the only quarterback on the roster when free agency starts in March.”

    what about Josh Freeman!??!?!!?? Ain’t he on the vikes roster still?

  9. I find it hard to believe Cassel will make more money elsewhere. He probably has a better chance to play if he goes to a different team. Or the Patriots could trade Mallett to a team and bring Cassell in as a backup. I doubt they would pay him like the Vikings did…

  10. Best off-season camp ever-
    Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, Christian ponder
    All to battle for the starting spot. I hope they pay Benny hill music during the practices!

  11. Vikings fans are screaming for another qb. But the truth is their defense has more holes than the Iraqi navy.
    Free agency is a month away, bet they sign Gabbert

  12. Weird situation. No way he gets $3.7M and the chance to start from another team, so if he doesn’t try to renegotiate with the Vikes, it means that he can’t stand the thought of playing for a guy like Spielman and is willing to take less money to go anywhere but Minnesota. That Rick Spielman sure is a genius. He sure knows how to treat players.

  13. concro123 says:
    Feb 5, 2014 10:27 AM
    PLEASE don’t start Ponder again!

    53 3

    No worries! They’re going after Mark Sanchez.

    Your problems are solved.

  14. Unbelievable, even Matt Cassel wants out of Minnesota. Apparently $3.7 million is not enough to keep him there and he is willing to test free agency and take less money to join a winning franchise. The out of state Vikings management should seriously consider trading AP and start over and rebuild the entire team from scratch.

  15. I don’t understand why so many of you guys dog the Vikings and state of Minnesota. What have they done to you? I could pick any of the franchises in the NFL and find fault with their players and city/state they are located in and make fun of them, but why there is so much hating on the Vikings boggles my mind.

    Matt Cassel is only doing the financially responsible thing and testing the market to see if he can land more money. Wouldn’t any of you do the same thing? His decision does not mean he hates the team or the state at all. It’s purely a financial decision you morons.

  16. Well who can blame Cassel for going for aiming for greener pastures.

    There are a couple worse places than Minnesota where he could land. Teams with worse Offensive Lines (Jacksonville comes to mind, as does Oakland) and even shakier QB/front office situations (Cleveland). But I’d say there are at least 20-25 teams that would be better for him to land a backup job with.

    At least with a backup gig, you know were you stand. The Vikes had NO idea what they wanted with the QB position, and most likely still don’t and won’t even after they draft a new QB this year. Lack of direction at QB is a quick way to kill your team.

    As a Bears fan, I’m rooting for them to get Vick. After all, the last time Minnesota brought in a once mobile QB at the end of his career it worked out great… for the rest of the NFC North, anyway.

  17. tokyosandblaster says:Feb 5, 2014 10:23 AM

    Who wouldn’t? Try to get on a team that could at least get to .500 in the next decade.

    Your constant obsession with the Vikes is laughable..and to be perfectly honest-creepy.

  18. Perfectly logical move by Cassel. Test the market to see if he can improve his situation. If not, I’m betting that a spot with the Vikes will likely still be available to him, whether it be as the starter or otherwise.

    Win/win for Cassel…

  19. I wouldn’t do it. If he waits and they release him to save the money it is still before free agency. If they keep him it is almost 4 million to start or backup a rookie. They must think they can get more now but I don’t see it except for maybe the Raiders

  20. Pats are not gonna pay Cassell big money to hold a clipboard, even with Brady’s cap hit being 15 mil. It’s not what they do.

  21. What does it say about the team when the best QB who started games doesn’t even want to re-sign?

    It says to me that he wants to play for a team other than the one that just finished in last place. It says that he thinks the organization is not capable of turning it around anytime soon and recent history supports him on that one. And lastly, I’m thinking he probably had a conversation with the new coaching staff and didn’t like what he heard.

    The Vikings are a hot mess right now and Cassel knows it.

  22. I see this as an agent providing bad advice. Cassel was likely a shoe-in to be the starter with Norv Turner to provide him some spark in the offense that Mus-myoffenseisonefootinthe-grave had no clue how to do for the Vikes.
    No QB development of Ponder, or creativity for Cassel (even though he moved th eoffense) at all … So why walk away from $3.7M when at least $500K is staring at you if you guessed wrong about the Vikes using you? Just seems odd.

    Freeman is gone … I don’t see Turner putting up with a guy who blew a golden chance when he was picked up off the dump heap.

    This move by Cassel likely means the Vikes get serious about guys like Sanchez, Cousins, or others off the free agent list with years left and can move an offense. At least I hope they don’t get scared and reach for someone like Carr at #8 in the draft. (See Ponder)

  23. This is priceless. You have a qb who has guaranteed money if he chooses as well as being a virtual lock to start( good qb’s will be gone) and he wants to escape that dismal franchise. Thats about as bad as it gets.

  24. I’ve lived in MN for nearly 20 years. It’s not a cesspool like aikmanschinstraps said. Freaking cold every winter, but hey we don’t have a lot of crime, we have excellent schools, low unemployment, 11,642 lakes to fish in. Millions of acres to hunt too. I hope Cassell goes as far away from the Vikes as he can. 2013 was a terrible year. Now they gotta play outdoors for a couple of years. They better find a QB that won’t get his melon smacked on the frozen turf like Brett Favre did.

  25. I don’t know why this is so hard to understand. The contract Cassel signed last year was to be the backup quarterback. Now he’s slated to be the starting quarterback. Starting quarterbacks can do better than one year, $3.7 million. Cassel knows it and the Vikings know it. There’s no indication that the Vikings don’t want him or that Cassel doesn’t want to be here. He’s unlikely to win a starting job anywhere else. They’re going to work out a new contract that fairly compensates Cassel for being the starter next year and the bridge to the guy they draft this year.

  26. Christian Bale says: ‘Oh! Good for you!’

    He had good games like the Eagles and Steelers, and then really bad ones like the Bengals and Panthers so it’s not that big of a loss. At least Viking fans aren’t dumb enough to think they can contend with Seattle and San Fran just because their team has Rodgers. cough cough.

  27. At this point, Joe Webb is going to be the most popular QB on the Viking roster.

    Not sure what Cassel is doing here, but I can’t help but think he’ll end up playing elsewhere next year. I would hope that he sat down with the new coaching staff prior to making this decision.

    Most people assume (and I think they’re right) that the Vikings are going to attempt to find a quality starting QB in the draft. However, we don’t know what Norv Turner’s input has been on this.

    If Cassel signs elsewhere, the pressure on Rick Spielman will be at its zenith. The Vikings have only had one genuine franchise QB in their entire history. It is long past time for them to find another. If this team wants to win a SB, they need to bite the bullet and trade up for Manziel or Bridgewater.

  28. Cassel is gambling, and I don’t see it as a very good gamble unless he really knows that another team will pay him to sit on the bench. Minnesota probably wouldn’t give him much more, because they have a dead cap hit of $3.2 million for Ponder no matter what. They might as well keep Ponder, who plays at a level effectively almost indistinguishable from Cassel but is 6 years younger, and draft a young guy to be the long term starter.

    Freeman is gone, they will have no trouble finding another journeyman 3rd stringer.

  29. schmitty2 says:
    Feb 5, 2014 11:49 AM
    tokyosandblaster says:Feb 5, 2014 10:23 AM

    Who wouldn’t? Try to get on a team that could at least get to .500 in the next decade.

    Your constant obsession with the Vikes is laughable..and to be perfectly honest-creepy.


    You’re being perfectly honest-creepy?

    Yeah…I don’t care what some anonymous person (or group of inbreds) thinks about my anonymous online posts.

  30. calm down people, this is a play for more money, plain and simple. Odds are still fairly decent that he ends up staying, unless someone else decides they need to overpay for his services.

  31. I would liked to have seen Cassel get more chances this year. I just don’t see him coming back after the way the Vikes jerked him around this year. We’ll find out soon enough.

  32. Texans pick up Cassell, take Clowney at #1 and draft a QB in the 2nd round like AJ McCarron. Jettison Schaub and Yates, keep Keenum as backup. Not my prediction but some of the chit-chat coming out of Houston.

  33. Disillusioned Viking fans thinking this is some master plan to bring him back while logic states he doesn’t want to come back. Could it just be he has no faith in management to win soon? History supports this.

    Please bring in Vick that will give the division a years supply of laughter or can you imagine if they have to rely on Ponder again? What will they do? The suspense is ramping up!

  34. Dog Killer is available in Phillie, and ole Brett Favre is still down in Mississippi. Hear his photography isn’t doing too well since the wee thing lost its turbidity! Timbo Tebow is still sitting by the phone!

  35. Glad I’m not a fan of a team that’s obsessing over whether or not their mediocre starter will be back.
    Also hilarious that some Heidis are salivating over how all their offensive talent will scorch the league, especially if they add over the hill, injury-prone cancer Mike Vick. Believe it or not, we heard about how scary the mighty Norse would be last May too.
    In the meantime the Vikes will probably reach for Carr (aka Ponder 2.0) in the draft. Oh well, at least you can all stand around and watch the new stadium go up, slowly and above cost estimates. Call it The House That Rubes Built.

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