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NFL Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings: Top 5 Options at QB in 2014

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5 Best Options at QB for Minnesota Vikings in 2014

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In an unexpected turn of events, Matt Cassel will reportedly opt out of his contract with the Minnesota Vikings. This potential move is shocking many across the football world, mainly because Cassel was due to make $3.7 million by staying with the Vikings. Obviously, the QB thinks he can garner more money by hitting the free agent market. Whether he'll actually get an offer for more than $3.7 mil, remains to be seen.

To be clear, this reported decision by Cassel won't guarantee the end of his tenure in Minnesota. He could still re-sign with the team after testing the open market. However, it seems pretty clear that Cassel believes he can do better in another situation.

So now the Vikings are left with even more questions at the QB position. Christian Ponder is still under contract for one more season, but he's expected to be released. As for 2013 third-stringer Josh Freeman, he's got a snowball's chance of returning to Minneapolis in 2014. Long story short, the Vikings don't have a QB right now.

This reality is making it more and more likely that Minnesota will select a QB at No. 8 in this year's NFL Draft. At this point, it's not crazy to think that GM Rick Spielman would try to trade up in the draft to land a top prospect. In the eyes of most draft analysts, there are three top-tier QBs in this year's class.

In this slideshow we'll take a look at the Vikings top five options at the QB position. They could grab someone off the free agent market, take a player in the draft or do both. It's really anyone's guess at this point:

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5. Matt Cassel

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Cassel's tenure in Minnesota could still continue in 2014. There's a solid chance that no team is going to pay him more than the $3.7 million he was slated to make with the Vikings. If nothing else, Cassel at least gives Minnesota an average QB that knows the offense. He played well at times in 2013 and most fans would take him over Ponder at this point.

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4. Michael Vick

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It's possible that the Vikings are looking at this year's draft class and they're not seeing their franchise QB. If they want to take a one year chance on a free agent QB, Vick would be the best option. He's an injury-prone turnover machine, but there's a chance the Vikings could catch lightning in a bottle with the speedy QB. Trying to contain Vick and Adrian Peterson would be difficult for opposing defenses.

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3. Johnny Manziel

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If the Vikings are going to stay put at No. 8 and Manziel is the best QB available, it's very possible that he could land in Minnesota. He doesn't seem like the kind of player that Spielman would want, but if the team is set on a QB in the draft, you never know.

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2. Teddy Bridgewater

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While Bridgewater is the best QB prospect in the year's class, and thus technically the best option at QB for the Vikings -- is it realistic to think they could actually draft him? I'm not sure that it is. There's basically zero chance of Bridgewater falling to the Vikings at No. 8. Spielman and company would really have to be sold on him to give up more valuable picks in a trade-up situation. But if he's truly the best QB in this class, it could be worth it.

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1. Blake Bortles

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Bortles is going to go in the top 10. From the sounds of it, the Vikings would be lucky to get him at No. 8. Would Spielman trade up a spot or two for him? It's possible. Especially when you hear some comparing him to Andrew Luck. It's definitely safe to say that Bortles has a much better chance of being a franchise QB than Ponder ever did and that the Vikings have much better chance of drafting Bortles than Bridgewater.