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Vikings add Cassel as backup to Ponder
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Matt Cassel has found a new home, agreeing to become Christian Ponder's new backup in Minnesota.
Cassel signed a deal with the Vikings Friday.
The 30-year-old Cassel spent the past four seasons in Kansas City and had two years remaining on the massive $63 million dollar deal he signed shortly after being acquired from New England. A poor 2012 season sealed his fate with the Chiefs, who acquired Alex Smith in a trade with San Francisco and signed Chase Daniel as a backup in the first couple days of free agency.
Cassel originally joined the Chiefs in July 2009 after leading the Patriots to 11 wins while Tom Brady missed the 2008 season with a knee injury. After the Chiefs struggled in Cassel's first year, he helped the club to a surprise AFC West title in 2010.
The 30-year-old USC product played just 18 games over the past two seasons because of injuries and ineffectiveness. He suffered a concussion in early October this past season and played just nine games, throwing for 1,796 yards with six touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Cassel completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 9,549 yards with 59 touchdowns and 44 interceptions during his four seasons in Kansas City. His 2010 campaign included 3,116 yards with 27 touchdowns and just seven picks.
A seventh-round pick of the Patriots in 2005, Cassel had thrown just 39 passes in his first three seasons as Brady's backup before being thrust into the starter's role in the 2008 season opener. He went on to throw for 3,693 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions that season.
The Vikings have stayed loyal to Ponder, who has struggled mightily at times himself, and Cassel isn't expected to challenge for the starting job in Minneapolis.
However, the veteran should prove to be a significant upgrade from Joe Webb, who flamed out as an injury replacement for Ponder in the team's playoff game at Green Bay last season.
03/15 18:12:03 ET