According to the Bills web site, they will acquire Cassel and a draft pick from the Vikings in return for two undisclosed draft picks. According to FOX Sports, the Bills will send their first choice in the fifth round of the 2015 draft and their 2016 seventh-round pick to the Vikings, and Minnesota will send their 2015 sixth-round pick to the Bills along with Cassel.
With those third-day draft picks exchanged, it appears the move was made for salary-cap purposes as much as anything.
Cassel re-signed with the Vikings last offseason on a two-year, $10.5 million contract that included $5.65 million in guarantees. He was scheduled to make $4.15 million in 2105, but also had a $500,000 roster bonus that was due in two weeks, so by trading him the Vikings will open up $4.75 million in cap space. That gives them about $25 million in cap room before the start of free agency on March 10, with other moves or restructuring of contracts possible. Cassel started the first three games of the 2014 season before being placed on injured reserve with a broken foot and losing his starting job to rookie Teddy Bridgewater. Cassel completed 41 of 71 passes for 425 yards, three touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 65.8 in 2014.
The trade can’t be completed until the start of the new league year on March 10.
In two seasons with the Vikings, Cassel appeared in 12 games, making nine starts, throwing 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He recorded a starting record of 4-5 over the two-year span.
Cassel has played for the New England Patriots (2005-08), Kansas City Chiefs (2009-12) and the Minnesota Vikings (2013-14) since entering the NFL. He was selected to the 2010 Pro Bowl after leading the Chiefs to the playoffs and throwing a career-high 27 touchdowns.
The Vikings have only Bridgewater and Pat Devlin, who was on their practice squad last year, under contract at the quarterback position.
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