Vikings notes: Zimmer likes Cassel, Peterson likes Vick

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer talked to quarterback Matt Cassel and says he wants the 31-year-old unrestricted free agent to return to Minnesota. But Zimmer expects Cassel to explore his options.

“He’s got a bunch of pretty girls looking at him right now,” Zimmer said Thursday. “And he wants to explore and see what’s best for him. I don’t blame any of these guys. In free agency, I think that’s why they have the rules is that they get a chance to go see what their market’s worth.”

Free agency begins this weekend, with teams allowed to negotiate with players beginning Saturday. Players cannot be signed until Tuesday, however.

Zimmer felt the team rallied around Cassel late last season, when the Vikings were 2-2 with him starting. He opted out of his two-year deal in January to become a free agent.

If Cassel doesn’t return, the team will look to add a veteran quarterback in free agency.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson wanted Cassel to be the team’s starter in January but tweeted on Wednesday that Michael Vick, an unrestricted free agent, would instantly make the Vikings a playoff team.

“We can’t talk about Michael Vick because of tampering stuff,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said in an ESPN radio interview, when asked if he felt signing Vick would cause overwhelming media attention.

“In general, we’re always going to look at that, we went through that when Brett Favre was here … but we ended up getting to the NFC Championship Game. A lot of it has to do with how your coaches feel about it.”

Spielman said the Vikings will add a young quarterback in the draft and plan to watch at least eight prospects in person as part of their draft evaluations.

“We’ll be able to find a young quarterback in this draft because there’s enough depth,” Spielman said. “But we’re also going to have to look at one in free agency as well.”

Assessing Cook

Zimmer is a self-proclaimed “fixer.” He likes to accept challenges as a coach when it comes to players who haven’t lived up to their potential.

His latest challenge could be cornerback Chris Cook, if the unrestricted free agent returns to Minnesota. He has underperformed for the Vikings since he was drafted in the second round in 2010.

“He’s a guy that has some ability that I’ve had some luck in the past with getting guys to play good that have ability,” Zimmer said. “So if he comes back here, then I’m going to coach him as hard as I can and see if I can get him to play good.”

Cook tweeted Monday that he spoke with Zimmer and the head coach “told me like it is.”

“If it’s in the cards, I look forward to having him at the helm,” Cook tweeted.

When asked about his impression of Cook from the meeting, Zimmer said:

“I don’t know. My impression is that he probably shouldn’t be tweeting our conversations.”

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Denver 28 3rd Qtr 0:55
Cincinnati 27
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Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Denver 82 FINAL
Charlotte 110
Portland 95 FINAL
Houston 110
Utah 97 FINAL
Memphis 91
Toronto 120 FINAL
Chicago 129
Atlanta 100 4th Qtr 1:08
Dallas 88
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Sacramento 14 1st Qtr 5:00
Golden State 15
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Washington 2
Nashville 5 FINAL
Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(SO)
Florida 4
Arizona 0 2nd Prd
Vancouver 3
San Jose 0 2nd Prd
Anaheim 0
Calgary 0 1st Prd 10:27
Los Angeles 1
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
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Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
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Northwestern 63
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George Washington 77
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Penn State 69
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UC Irvine 72
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Portland 71
SC State 59 FINAL
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Ga Southern 90
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Michigan State 82
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Ohio State 93
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SIU Edwardsville 63
Simpson 62 FINAL
Drake 84
Tenn Tech 81 FINAL
UMKC 60
Murray State 83 FINAL
Southern Ill 71
Oral Roberts 45 FINAL
Missouri State 52
Jacksonville St 65 1st OT 0:20
Air Force 66
Milwaukee 47 2nd Half 7:08
Arkansas 62
Wisconsin 66 2nd Half 1:21
California 48
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
LSU 71
North Dakota 54 FINAL
Marquette 67
Northern New Mexico 39 FINAL
New Mexico St 78
UC Santa Barbara 69 2nd Half 1:20
Oregon 70
Miami-Florida 51 2nd Half 7:30
Providence 62
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St Marys-CA 70
Kent State 52 2nd Half 9:31
Texas-El Paso 59
UC Davis 68 2nd Half 0:46
Northern Colorado 63
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Eastern Wash 87
Walla Walla 52 FINAL
Portland State 94
TX A&M-CC 32 2nd Half
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Marshall 30 2nd Half
Nevada 38
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Marshall 127
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(14) Georgia 62
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Missouri 74
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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