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Matt Cassel signs Minnesota Vikings contract

Christian Ponder is in line to be the Minnesota Vikings' starting quarterback as they enter the 2013 season. There's new company on the depth chart, however.

Fox Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer reported Thursday that the Vikings have agreed to terms on a contract with Matt Cassel. NFL.com's Albert Breer reported, per a source, that Cassel picked the Vikings over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported late Thursday night that Cassel's contract is for two years, but it voids after next season. Cassel is guaranteed $3.7 million in the first year with $500,000 in incentives, according to a source who has seen the deal.

Cassel, who turns 31 in May, has a 29-33 career record as a starter with 82 touchdown passes, 57 interceptions and a passer rating of 80.4. Cassel spent the past four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, who recently replaced him as their starter by trading for Alex Smith. Cassel was released earlier Thursday.

This is a smart move by the Vikings, whose lack of quarterback depth was laid bare in the NFC wild-card round. Joe Webb struggled mightily in place of an injured Ponder in a loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Cassel represents a known commodity who has had past success with the Chiefs and New England Patriots. Did he choose the Vikings over the Bucs because he believed he had a better chance of beating out Ponder in Minnesota than Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay?

Food for thought.

UPDATE: The Vikings announced Friday they have signed Cassel. His new contract is a two-year deal that voids after one year, a source who has seen the agreement told Rapoport. It includes $3.7 million guaranteed in one year with $500,000 in incentives.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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