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Reports are out that Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel will use his player option and test free agency this offseason.

This isn't the biggest surprise in the world, but it does leave a few questions. Why would Cassel leave a situation in which he could easily be the starter next season? It was apparent that he gave the team the best chance to win, even when they opted to not use him.

That's where this isn't a surprise in him opting out. After last season, I don't think anyone could blame Cassel for potentially walking. He gave the team the best chance of winning, which former coach Leslie Frazier kept saying was the difference in Christian Ponder playing, yet Cassel was thrown to the back.

Where does this leave Minnesota? There are a few options.

  1. This could be a case in which Cassel is just playing the market, and if nothing is available he could go back to Minnesota.
  2. The Vikings could give him more money/overpay Cassel to come back.
  3. The Vikings could let him walk and move forward.

If the Vikings take the 3rd option and just move forward, the draft would be the presumed immediate action. With the 8th pick, it might prove to be difficult to get a top-level guy out of the draft without moving up. They could even move back, grab a guy in the 3rd-4th round and gather more picks.

Let's say the Vikings decide to take a guy in the 3rd-4th round in the draft. Do they really want to start that guy right away? What other options are out there?

Here are a list of NFL quarterbacks in free agency (unrestrictive) this season:

Matt Cassel, Derek Anderson, Jimmy Clausen, Kellen Clemens, Matt Flynn, Josh Freeman, David Garrard, Rex Grossman, Chad Henne, Shaun Hill, Tarvaris Jackson, Jon Kitna, Josh McCown, Luke McCown, Colt McCoy, Dan Orlovsky, Curtis Painter, Jordan Palmer, Brady Quinn, Rusty Smith, Michael Vick, Charlie Whitehurst.

Not too impressive.

If anything, Cassel can make the case to the Vikings, right now, that they need him more than he needs them. That alone, gives him a good reason to try the market.

*You can email Jerry at, and find him on Twitter @Jerrysworld991*