Matt Cassel to void 2014 option

Updated: February 5, 2014, 8:00 PM ET
By Ben Goessling | ESPN.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel, who emerged from a three-way QB derby to become the Vikings' starter for the last month of the season, might now be looking to see if his play in 2013 will earn him a bigger contract on the open market.

Cassel intends to void the 2014 option on his contract, a person familiar with the situation told ESPN.com, confirming multiple reports.

He was scheduled to make $3.7 million in 2014 with the Vikings, but both sides had an option on the deal. Cassel had to make his decision by Friday while the Vikings had until the seventh day of the league year to cut Cassel or pay him a $500,000 roster bonus.

With a handful of teams looking for quarterbacks -- including the Vikings -- Cassel has evidently decided to test his options.

He saw action in nine games, starting six of them, and threw for 1,807 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

[+] EnlargeMatt Cassel
Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty ImagesVikings quarterback Matt Cassel will void the 2014 option on his contract and test the free-agent market, a source confirms.

Cassel threw for 382 yards in the Vikings' surprising 48-30 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 15 and started in three of the Vikings' five wins, replacing an injured Christian Ponder in the other two.

Cassel will be 32 in May, but he might have a chance to take advantage of a market replete with teams that need quarterbacks. The Vikings have the eighth pick in the draft and are behind several teams -- Houston, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Oakland among them -- that need quarterbacks.

He could still re-sign with the Vikings to give them a veteran option if they did bring in a young quarterback, but he might find a better offer to do that somewhere else, including in Houston, where new coach Bill O'Brien worked with Cassel in New England.

With Cassel about to hit the open market, Ponder is the only Vikings quarterback under contract.

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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