Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


In search for a back-up QB, Vikings' interest could be in Matt Cassel

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Leslie Frazier Updated: March 14, 2013 - 10:54 AM

The Kansas City Chiefs decision to officially release quarterback Matt Cassel on Thursday comes as little surprise. The organization had made its direction at the position very clear recently, first with the trade for Alex Smith and then with a subsequent signing of Chase Daniel.

So now Cassel hits the open market. And as it just so happens, the Vikings have a “Help Wanted” sign hung on the front door, seeking out a veteran backup to aid in the development of Christian Ponder while also providing insurance in case – for injury or some other reason – things don’t go as planned with Ponder in his third year as a starter.

So might this be the perfect match?

Jason LaCanfora of CBS believes the Vikings might be the team to beat for Cassel.

But keep in mind, Cassel will have to decide whether he is willing to accept a reserve role. Over the past five seasons in Kansas City he made 62 starts. His best season arguably came in 2010 when he threw for 3,116 yards with 27 TD passes and only seven interceptions.

Cassel has eight NFL seasons under his belt, experience as a starter and the aptitude to provide solid support to Ponder.

The Vikings have made it very clear that their starting quarterback position is not open. And so, as coach Leslie Frazier laid out definitively last month at the combine, the Vikings will need whatever new quarterback they sign to have the right combination of talent and unselfishness.

Said Frazier: “It’s got to be a guy that comes in and understands Christian is our starting quarterback. … If the guy comes in and has the mindset that I’m going to create a problem in the locker room because he feels he should be the starter, that would not be a good fit.”

 

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