Matt Cassel: A backup plan for Minnesota Vikings?

By Gil Alcaraz IV
Matt Cassel
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With the latest reports that the San Francisco 49ers will send quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for draft picks, the release of Chiefs 2012 starter Matt Cassel is inevitable.

Once he is released, the underwhelming starter will be free to sign with any potential suitor. Considering that he’ll be seen as a backup and nothing more, Cassel could be an option for the Minnesota Vikings when free agency opens on March 12.

After Joe Webb’s pitiful performance in the Vikings’ Wild Card loss to the Green Bay Packers, the team is looking for a more reliable option behind starter Christian Ponder. Especially with Ponder’s history of durability issues, the Vikings need a No. 2 quarterback who has serious starting experience, something that Webb severely lacks.

Apart from Webb, the only other quarterback currently on the roster for the Vikings is McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The former undrafted passer out of Sacramento State has yet to see a snap in a regular season NFL game and is considered a long-term project at best.

While Cassel isn’t exactly the epitome of consistency, the soon-to-be-former Chiefs quarterback has starting experience and is semi-capable of leading an NFL offense to victory. He’d be a safer option than Webb if Ponder went down with an injury, but has already tapped out in terms of potential. At this point in his NFL career, Cassel is nothing more than a clipboard holder and just-in-case quarterback.

Other teams that could be in the market for Cassel’s services are the Arizona CardinalsNew York Jets and New England Patriots. The Cardinals and Jets are both looking for a replacement for their incumbent starters while the Patriots could bring Cassel back to reclaim his role as Tom Brady’s backup if Ryan Mallett is placed on the trading block.

Unless Cassel comes at a cost-effective price, the Vikings might just be better off re-signing Sage Rosenfels. If no other options present themselves, though, Cassel could fill the backup role for the time being.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Network Manager/NFL featured columnist for Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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