The Vikings have agreed to terms with free agent quarterback Matt Cassel. The deal is two years and averages $4 million per season (and even more with incentives), according to CBSSports.com, and can be voided by Cassel after 2013.
Cassel is the first outside free agent the Vikings have signed this month. He was released Thursday morning by the Kansas City Chiefs after they traded for Alex Smith and signed Chase Daniel to be his backup.
Back in 2009, Cassel signed a six-year, $63 million contract with the Chiefs after proving himself as Tom Brady's backup when Brady was lost for the season with an injury. In 2008, Cassel's final year in New England, he started 15 games and completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 3,693 yards and 21 touchdowns.
However, in his four seasons in Kansas City (2009-2012), Cassel never returned to the 60-percent completion rate and never had more than 3,200 yards passing.
The Vikings had been rumored to be interested in Cassel if he was released, and they have publicly stated their interest in finding a veteran backup behind starter Christian Ponder.
"If it's the right guy, it would be perfect," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. "It's got to be a guy that comes in and understands that Christian is our starting quarterback. But, yeah, he's got to be ready to play at any given time. That's just the nature of being the backup quarterback.
"He'd have to understand his role. That would be the key. 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. It needs to be a guy understands his role and could fit our team and be ready to go at a moment's notice."
The signing will likely put Joe Webb and McLeod Bethel-Thompson in competition for the No. 3 role if both of them are kept around into training camp.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.