All offseason long, the speculation will continue to run rampant regarding the Oakland Raiders’ future at quarterback. The latest name to enter the conversation is Matt Cassel, who voided his contract with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday.
While Cassel is far from a long-term option for Oakland, he has some potential as a bridge-gap quarterback who can stand in until the Raiders find their franchise quarterback.
It’s believed the Raiders will target a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft. With the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns all picking before them, though, the top three passers could come off the board before Oakland is on the clock. If that’s the case, they might have to move forward without a new quarterback.
If that’s the case, having someone like Cassel available would be a wise fallback plan. He’s an experienced veteran who has 68 starts under his belt. Cassel is coming off a solid season with the Vikings during which he started six games, throwing for 1,807 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Even if the Raiders did land a young gunslinger via the draft, Cassel could easily fill the backup role. When called up last year, he stepped in for the Vikings admirably. His NFL experience would also be valuable in helping the rookie quarterback acclimate to the league.
It’s unlikely, but the Raiders could also opt to stick with either Matt McGloin or Terrelle Pryor under center. If that’s the case, Cassel would again be a reasonable option as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart. That’s if he’s willing to sign as a backup.
Either way, Cassel seems like a logical option for the Raiders. Whether it’s as a starter or a backup, he’s one of the best free agent quarterbacks available and would come at a relatively cheap price.
Sounds like a solid insurance plan for Reggie McKenzie and Co.