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Kevin Seifert: Why Did the Minnesota Vikings Keep Matt Cassel?

Kevin Seifert joined Jeff Thurn on Tuesday’s edition of Overtime. 

Seifert is an NFL national writer for ESPN. He used to specifically cover the NFC North for ESPN, and covered the Minnesota Vikings from 1999 to 2008 for the Star Tribune.

Seifert on why the Vikings kept quarterback Matt Cassel?

“If you look at their depth chart at the end of the season, Josh Freeman was obviously going to move on, and I think they decided internally to move on from Christian Ponder. So, they needed to have someone to allow them to have flexibility to what they want to do in the draft, and that’s forced them to draft someone at number eight if they don’t feel comfortable or forced them to have to make a trade up to get someone before number, and that still might draft someone at eight, a quarterback, and might still trade up if they have their hearts set on somebody, but Matt Cassel at least gives them a credible starter out there if that doesn’t work out or draft a developmental guy and have him take a year or so to get ready. So, I don’t know if it changes anything dramatically about their strategy, but gives them the flexibility to be able to roll whatever happens in the draft. At very least, they have credibility in a guy they can trot out there and be able to function in Week One.”

Cassel threw for 1,807 yards, 11 touchdowns, and nine interceptions last season for Minnesota.

Seifert on if the signing of Cassel closes the door on signing Michael Vick?

“I think so, yeah, I guess you can never rule out any strange or unexpected turns in free agency especially with a new coaching staff, but I would think Michael Vick would have a better opportunity than having to compete with Cassel to be the starter. We’ll see for sure, but I think, while I understand while Adrian Peterson was lobbying there, I don’t see that being a likely scenario.”

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Matt Cassel, Minnesota Vikings
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Catch Thurn on Overtime weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on ESPN 99.1

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