There was some hand-wringing on our part when the Vikings traded Matt Cassel to Buffalo because 1) we wondered why Minnesota would give up a sure thing at the important position of backup QB and 2) we didn’t imagine the Vikings could do better than Cassel at the position even if they could find someone to replace him.
On Tuesday, it was announced the Vikings signed veteran Shaun Hill to be Teddy Bridgewater’s backup in 2015. Not only did the Vikings save money and add draft value by swapping out Cassel for Hill, but we have to legitimately wonder if they also upgraded their backup QB.
Cassel has a greater pedigree, with 71 career starts to just 34 for Hill. And Cassel is two years younger than Hill, meaning the chance that he fades soon — as in, this year — is less likely.
Completion percentage? Hill is at 62.2, while Cassel is at 59.0.
Interception percentage? Hill is picked off on 2.5 percent of his passes, while Cassel sits at 3.0.
Net yards per pass attempt? Hill is 5.95, Cassel is 5.78.
Passer rating? 85.5 for Hill, 80.1 for Cassel.
In terms of fit, Hill is comfortable being in the No. 2 role but can start in a pinch. Cassel seems to want another chance to be No. 1.
So Hill has slightly better numbers, is probably a better fit with Teddy Bridgewater entrenched as the No. 1 QB … and the Vikings saved money while adding draft value in getting Hill.
You have to give the Vikings and Rick Spielman kudos for this move.