On Wednesday afternoon, the Buffalo Bills announced that they have acquired veteran quarterback Matt Cassel from the Minnesota Vikings. In doing so, they surrender two undisclosed draft picks to the Vikings, in exchange for Cassel and one undisclosed draft pick.
We say undisclosed, because the teams involved haven't done so, but Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com has the details. The Bills will be shipping their first of two fifth-round picks in 2015 (acquired from Tampa Bay last spring), plus their seventh-round pick in 2016, in exchange for Cassel and the Vikings' sixth-round pick in 2015. In essence, then, the Bills are trading back one round this year, and giving up a seventh-round pick next year, for the rights to Cassel.
The news comes less than 24 hours after the Bills acquired running back LeSean McCoy from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Both deals cannot become official until the 2015 NFL league year begins at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 10.
Cassel, who will turn 33 in May, is entering the second year of a two-year deal he signed with the Vikings last spring. It's a relatively low-risk proposition for the Bills, who now have Cassel under contract for one year at $4.75 million against the cap ($4.15 million in base salary, a $500,000 roster bonus, and a $100,000 workout bonus.
The 11-year NFL veteran has started 71 games in his career, sporting a 33-38 record in that time while throwing for 15,727 yards (at a 59 percent completion rate), 96 touchdowns, and 71 interceptions. He provides the veteran foil to third-year pro EJ Manuel that the team was looking for in their pursuit of Josh McCown, and will likely enter training camp this summer as the odds-on favorite to win the starting job, barring any more maneuvering at the position. At bare minimum, he and Manuel will be competing for the gig.
How do you feel about Cassel potentially being the guy that the team banks on to be competent enough to squeak into the playoffs, Bills fans?