The Vikings just signed Matt Cassel to a 2 year deal worth $10 Million. The question is, why? I just double checked vikings.com and they still haven’t announced the signing but it is on NFL.com. Head coach Mike Zimmer has told the media that he wanted to re-sign Cassel. This made me scratch my head. Why re-sign him? He did have two really good games (verses the Steelers and Eagles), but overall, he wasn’t much more consistent than Christian Ponder.
Lets take a look at available available free agents. My rating for fit with Vikings, 10 being an exceptional fit.
Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars – Had a promising start with the Dolphins, but seemed to have plateaued in development. – (6)
Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks – Solid #2, but not a starter. Been there, done that! – (3)
Shaun Hill, Detroit Lions – Get him out of Detroit and he could be a starter. Not really proven. – (5)
Kellen Clemens, St. Louis Rams – (4)
Derek Anderson, Carolina Panthers – (4)
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles – Over-rated, but at one time a threat to run or throw. – (4)
Matt Cassel, Minnesota Vikings – Probably the most experienced of all free agents. – (7)
Josh Freeman, Minnesota Vikings – Burned many bridges. – (3)
Josh McCown, Chicago Bears – Could be a starter for a few teams, but not the Vikings. – (5)
Colt McCoy, San Francisco 49ers – A lot of hype coming out of college. – (4)
Charlie Whitehurst, San Diego Chargers – Not sure why he never started. Many teams like him as a #2. – (5)
Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers – Proof that one game does not make a quarterback. – (4)
Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins – (4)
Jimmy Clausen, Carolina Panthers (2012) – (3)
David Garrard, New York Jets – (3)
Jon Kitna, Dallas Cowboys – Getting old, but a good #2. – (3)
Luke McCown, New Orleans Saints – (2)
Dan Orlovsky, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – (2)
Curtis Painter, New York Giants – (1)
Jordan Palmer, Chicago Bears – (3)
Brady Quinn, St Louis Rams – (3)
Rusty Smith, Tennessee Titans – (3)
Seneca Wallace, Green Bay Packers – (4)
I think you can see why coach Zimmer wanted Matt so badly. Plus, not sure many teams were will to trade at this point and I am sure they looked at possible options.
Now, lets compare QB’s on the current roster.
The comparison does not show a wide difference. The glaring problem with both is a high number of interceptions. While Ponder has a better ability to run and is more apt to run , Cassel has more poise in the pocket when there’s pressure. Ponder gets happy feet even when there is a clean pocket. It’s hard to make accurate passes when you have poor foot work.
I still feel that offense is not the big problem with the Vikings. I do feel Cassel will give the Vikings a better chance at making a spot in the playoffs. I also think that Norv Turner will tailor his offense towards Cassel’s strengths. You can bet Norv had some input on signing Cassel.
The Vikings biggest hole is in defense. They will need to draft quality defensive players to accent studs drafted last year.