The Vikings traded Matt Cassel to the Bills today in a move that strikes us a little odd since Cassel is a very functional backup but that also signals that the Vikings have supreme faith in Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback.
Our question of the afternoon is this: Where does Cassel rank among Vikings quarterbacks of a similar ilk over the past few decades? Minnesota has clearly had some very good QBs (even for very short periods of time); we’d consider Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, Brett Favre and Daunte Culpepper to be in that category, ahead of Cassel. Bridgewater is in a separate category since he’s still very new.
But among these QBs, where does Cassel rank: Brad Johnson, Gus Frerotte, Tarvaris Jackson, Sean Salisbury, Christian Ponder, Jim McMahon, Donovan McNabb and Cassel.
These are the guys who were constantly teetering between being starters and backups — functional in some ways, limited in others.
Our temptation is to put Johnson first because he stood the test of time longer than the rest. McNabb is at the bottom, with Ponder and Jackson right above him. The real competition is between Salisbury, McMahon, Frerotte and Cassel.
Something makes us want to put Cassel above the rest of those guys, but the numbers don’t really bear that out. So we’ll leave it open to interpretation in the comments.