When the Minnesota Vikings acquired Josh Freeman two weeks ago, the team was left with a surplus of subpar passers on the 53-man roster. Considering that there’s a quarterback draught going on around the NFL, could the Vikings decide to trade one of their inept gunslingers away?
If someone is willing to take one off their hands, there’s no reason to believe the Vikings wouldn’t part ways with Matt Cassel, their No. 3 quarterback.
A few weeks ago, Cassel got his first start for Minnesota after regular starter Christian Ponder went down with a rib injury. The former Kansas City Chiefs passer put together a solid performance, and earned himself another start following the bye week. In only his second outing with the Vikings, though, Cassel crumbled under the pressure.
Cassel was subsequently sent to the bench in favor of Freeman, who turned in one of the ugliest performances in recent NFL history during his Vikings debut. Still, after paying him $3 million to come aboard, Minnesota is going to let Freeman play out the season once he returns from the concussion that will keep him out of the lineup in Week 8.
As for Ponder, the Vikings chose to go with him over Cassel with Freeman out, so he’s clearly higher in their eyes. Although his long-term future with the team is clearly in question, he’s a better short-term answer for their woes at quarterback.
Cassel, meanwhile, is an experienced passer who has shown signs of serviceability. If a quarterback-needy team is desperate enough, they could be willing to part with a late-round pick to get Cassel. He would be a better option under center than any quarterback currently on the open market after all.
If an offer comes across his table, it’s hard to imagine GM Rick Spielman passing an opportunity to get something in return for Cassel. There’s no point to paying three former starting quarterbacks, especially when none of them are playing like No. 1 passers.
The Vikings should admit their mistake, get what they can for Cassel, and move on.