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Updated: March 18th, 2013 10:58am
Vikings, Matt Cassel both have options with two-year, $7.4M deal

Vikings, Matt Cassel both have options with two-year, $7.4M deal

by Tom Pelissero
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PHOENIX -- The two-year contract Matt Cassel signed with the Minnesota Vikings last week could end up being a one-year, $3.7 million pact if the quarterback or the team decides they want out.

According to an NFL source, Cassel had a $2 million roster bonus due on Sunday in lieu of a signing bonus. His 2013 base salary is $1.65 million. He also has a $50,000 workout bonus and can make up to $500,000 in "not likely to be earned" incentives based on playing time and playoff wins.

Both sides have a built-in decision in the second year of the deal, which includes a $500,000 roster bonus due on the seventh day of the league year, a $3.15 million base salary and the same workout bonus and incentives as the first year of the deal.

If Cassel believes he can land more money elsewhere, he can void the second year of the deal with written notice up to five days after the Super Bowl and hit the market again. And if the Vikings decide they're paying too much for a backup quarterback, they can cut Cassel before the roster bonus is due without owing another dime or taking a cap hit.

The cap number for Cassel is $3.7 million in each year of the deal. That put the Vikings about $10.5 million under the cap pending the filing of receiver Greg Jennings' five-year deal.

Cassel, 30, easily becomes one of the highest-paid backup quarterbacks in the NFL. The Vikings have told him Christian Ponder remains their starter.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Christian Ponder