Matt Cassel
Detroit LionsNo. 8
Quarterback
Date of Birth: May 17 1982 (1982-05-17) (age 38)
Place of Birth: Northridge, California
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)Weight: 228 lb (103 kg)
National Football League debut
2005 for the New England Patriots
Career Highlights and Awards
* Pro Bowl (2010)
Career History
College: USC
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 7 / Pick: 230
 Teams:
Career stats to date
Pass attempts/Completions     2,666-1,571
TDINT     104–81
Passing yards     17,449
Passer rating     78.8
Rushing touchdowns     5

Matthew Brennan Cassel (born May 17, 1982 in Northridge, California) is an American football quarterback for the for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL draft, and has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and Tennessee Titans. He played college football at USC.

Cassel became the Patriots' starting quarterback after Week 1 of the 2008 season after then reigning NFL MVP Tom Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury. In February 2009, the Patriots used their franchise tag on Cassel, extending him a one-year contract worth over $14 million, the largest one-year contract for an offensive player in NFL history.[1][2] Later that offseason, the Patriots made a trade which sent Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs,[3] who signed him to a 6-year, $62.7 million contract in July 2009. In 2010, Cassel led the Chiefs to their first AFC West divisional championship in seven years, and earned a Pro Bowl selection in the process.

Professional Career[edit | edit source]

In 2005 Patriots had drafted Cassel in the seventh round, as the 230th overall pick. In 2005, behind veteran QB Doug Flutie, Cassel was the 3rd string back-up. Following Flutie's retirement in the 2006 offseason, Cassel moved up to second on the Patriots' depth chart. Cassel played well in the preseason and became the primary backup to Tom Brady. The Patriots laster signed another Heisman Trophy winner, Vinny Testaverde to be the emergency QB.

2008: Breakthrough Success[edit | edit source]

In the 2008 season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, Cassel became the starting quarterback of the Patriots when Tom Brady suffered a torn ACL and MCL in the first quarter from a hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard. Cassel led the Patriots to an 17–10 victory, completing 13 of 18 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown; Cassel's drives accounted for all of New England's points.

In week 2 the Patriots played against Brett Favre and the New York Jets. This was Cassel's first start in the NFL and noted many times that it was his first start in a Football game since he was in high school. Cassel started and finished the game completing 16 of 23 passes for 165 yards; no touchdowns, though, he also threw no interceptions. The Patriots' 19–10 victory was the first time in six tries that a quarterback making his first NFL start defeated a team led by Brett Favre.

In week 11, the Patriots played the Jets again, this time in Foxborogh. At first it appeard as if the Jets would rout the Patriots. In the Patriots' 34–31 overtime loss to the New York Jets, on November 13, 2008, Cassel led the Patriots on three unanswered scoring drives to bring them back from a 24–6 deficit with two minutes left in the first half, and threw a 16-yard touchdown to Randy Moss on 4th-and-1 with one second remaining to send the game into overtime. He finished 30-for-51 passing, with 400 yards, 3 touchdowns (and a pass for a two-point conversion), and no interceptions for a passer rating of 103.4, and 62 yards rushing on eight attempts. Cassel became the first Patriot to throw for 300 yards and rush for 50 yards in the same game, and the first player since at least the NFL merger to have 400 passing yards and 60 rushing yards in the same game. However, though an impressive comeback, the Jets recieved the ball first in sudden death overtime and merely kicked a field goal to pick up the victory against the division rival Patriots.

In Week 12, Cassel led the Patriots to a 48–28 win over the Miami Dolphins, who in Week 3 had ended the Patriots' NFL record 21-game win streak in an embarassing 38-13 rout in Foxboro. While Cassel threw for just 131 yards in the Week 3 loss, his Week 12 performance topped his performance against the Jets: Cassel completed 30 of 43 passes for 415 yards, three touchdowns to Randy Moss, and one interception, for a passer rating of 114.0; Cassel also had 14 yards on two rushes, including an 8-yard touchdown run. The performance made Cassel the first quarterback in franchise history, and only the fifth quarterback in NFL history, to have consecutive games with 400+ yards passing an accomplishment that presumed future Football Hall of Famer Tom Brady has yet to accomplish. His efforts against the Dolphins earned him the title of AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time in the 2008 regular season.

Minnesota Vikings[edit | edit source]

On the same day he was released from the Chiefs, Cassel signed with the Minnesota Vikings.[4] On September 27, it was announced that Cassel would get his first start as a Viking in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, due to a rib injury to starting quarterback Christian Ponder.[5] The Vikings won the game 34–27.[6] Due to another injury to Christian Ponder, Cassel received his third start of the season week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens. Despite a two touchdown, zero interception performance, the Vikings lost to the Ravens 29-26 during a heavy snow game.[7] He would remain the starting quarterback the rest of the season where the Vikings finished with a 5-10-1 record and Cassel either played the whole game or came in to rally the Vikings from behind in all five victories.[8]

On March 7, 2014, it was reported that Cassel had signed a new two-year deal for $10 million.[9] It was later announced on August 25, 2014 that Cassel would be the starting quarterback over rookie Teddy Bridgewater and Ponder.[10] However, on September 21, 2014 Cassel broke his foot against the New Orleans Saints and was placed on injured reserve.[11] In only three games, he totaled 425 passing yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions.[12]

Buffalo Bills[edit | edit source]

On March 10, 2015, the Vikings traded Cassel along with a sixth round 2015 NFL Draft pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 2015 fifth round pick and a seventh round pick in 2016.[13][14] Cassel was involved in a three-way quarterback competition between former Bills first round pick EJ Manuel and former Baltimore Ravens backup Tyrod Taylor. After losing the competition to Taylor, he was released by the Bills on September 5, 2015.[15] However, he was re-signed three days later to back up Taylor.[16] Cassel was credited as the Bills' starting quarterback for the season opener due to him taking the team's first snap on offense in the wildcat formation with Taylor lined up at wide receiver.[17]

Dallas Cowboys[edit | edit source]

File:Matt Cassel 2015.jpg

Cassel with the Cowboys in 2015

On September 22, 2015, the Bills traded Cassel to the Dallas Cowboys after Tony Romo suffered a broken collarbone. In addition to Cassel, the Cowboys also received Buffalo's 2017 seventh round pick (#228-Joey Ivie) in exchange for Dallas' 2017 fifth round pick (#171-Nathan Peterman).[18]

Although Brandon Weeden was expected to start, the Cowboys covered themselves by also trading for Cassel. After Weeden lost the 3 games he started, Cassel replaced him as the starting quarterback while the injured Romo continued to rehab.[19] He was never able to have any sustained offensive success and was prone to critical errors. On December 19, after a disastrous showing against the New York Jets, Cassel was benched and replaced by Kellen Moore for the game and the rest of the season.[20] In his seven starts and eight appearances, he posted a 1-6 record, 1,276 passing yards, 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.[21]

On Cassel's last play before being benched for Moore, he became the first quarterback in over twelve years to throw an interception that was also flagged for intentional grounding.[22] The play was designed to be a wide receiver bubble screen, but Cassel held onto the ball after a pump-fake, then turned to look at the other side of the field. Forced to scramble to get away from the immediate pressure, thanks largely to most of the Dallas offensive linemen moving to the left side of the field to block for the presumed wide receiver screen, Cassel stumbled and nearly fell over. Trying to salvage the play, Cassel threw the ball towards the right sideline. No Dallas receiver was in the area, and the ball failed to reach the sideline and was intercepted by Darrelle Revis. On top of the intentional grounding call against Cassel, there was also an illegal lineman downfield call against Dallas, as several offensive linemen had run downfield to block for what they assumed was a quick screen pass to a receiver. Both penalties were declined so that the interception would stand.[23]

Tennessee Titans[edit | edit source]

Cassel signed with the Tennessee Titans on March 10, 2016.[24] In Week 16, on Christmas Eve, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cassel entered the game in the third quarter after starter Marcus Mariota suffered an injury. Cassel completed 13-of-24 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown with an interception as the Titans lost by a score of 38–17.[25] Due to Mariota's injury, Cassel started the season finale against the Houston Texans, completing 16-of-26 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown with an interception as the Titans won 24–17.[26][27]

On March 2, 2017, Cassel signed a two-year, $5.25 million contract extension with the Titans.[28] On October 1, 2017, against the Houston Texans, Mariota suffered a hamstring injury in the third quarter and was relieved by Cassel. Cassel completed 4 of 10 passes for 21 yards and two interceptions as the Titans lost by a score of 57–14.[29] Due to Mariota's injury, Cassel started the game against the Miami Dolphins on October 8, completing 21 of 32 passes for 141 yards and 1 touchdown as the Titans lost by a score of 16–10.[30]

On March 9, 2018, Cassel was released by the Titans.[31]

Detroit Lions[edit | edit source]

On April 4, 2018, Cassel signed a 1-year contract with the Detroit Lions.[32]

references[edit | edit source]

  1. Cassel likely to remain in New England. Blogs.nfl.com (2009-02-07). Retrieved on 2011-06-05.
  2. Later in the 2009 franchise period, the Carolina Panthers franchised Julius Peppers, which required a salary of over $16 million.
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Chiefs complete
  4. Matt Cassel agrees to Minnesota Vikings contract. NFL.com.
  5. Matt Cassel to start for Vikings over Christian Ponder. NFL.com. Retrieved on 23 December 2015.
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings - September 29th, 2013 (in en).
  7. Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens - December 8th, 2013 (in en).
  8. 2013 Minnesota Vikings Statistics & Players (in en).
  9. Goessling, Ben. Matt Cassel, Vikings reach new deal. ESPN.com. Retrieved on 7 March 2014.
  10. Matt Cassel will start Week 1 for Minnesota Vikings. NFL.com.
  11. Goessling, Ben (September 24, 2014). Vikings place QB Matt Cassel on IR. ESPN.com. Retrieved on September 24, 2014.
  12. Matt Cassel 2014 Game Log (in en).
  13. Rodak, Mike (March 4, 2015). Bills trade for Matt Cassel. ESPN.
  14. Bills officially acquire QB Cassel from Vikings in trade. BuffaloBills.com (March 10, 2015).
  15. Orr, Conor (September 5, 2015). Buffalo Bills release QB Matt Cassel. nfl.com. Retrieved on September 5, 2015.
  16. Hanzus, Dan (September 8, 2015). Bills re-sign Matt Cassel to back up Tyrod Taylor. nfl.com. Retrieved on September 24, 2015.
  17. Alper, Josh (September 13, 2015). Matt Cassel "starts" at quarterback for the Bills. profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved on October 15, 2015.
  18. Around the NFL staff (September 22, 2015). Cowboys trade for bills qb Matt Cassel. nfl.com. Retrieved on September 22, 2015.
  19. Matt Cassel to start at QB for Dallas Cowboys after bye week. ESPN.com. Retrieved on 23 December 2015.
  20. Matt Cassel benched, Kellen Moore is Cowboys' fourth QB this year. Yahoo Sports (20 December 2015). Retrieved on 23 December 2015.
  21. Matt Cassel 2015 Game Log (in en).
  22. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2015/12/19/matt-cassel-double-dips-for-intentional-grounding-and-an-interception-on-the-same-play/
  23. New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys - December 19th, 2015 (in en).
  24. Titans Agree to Terms with Veteran QB Matt Cassel
  25. Wyatt, Jim (December 24, 2016). Titans Lose to Jaguars as Mariota Suffers Fractured Fibula. titansonline.com. Retrieved on December 25, 2016.
  26. Wyatt, Jim (January 1, 2017). Titans Beat Texans, Finish Season with 9-7 Mark. titansonline.com. Retrieved on January 1, 2017.
  27. Wyatt, Jim (December 25, 2016). Matt Cassel Ready to Step in for Titans. titansonline.com. Retrieved on December 26, 2016.
  28. Wyatt, Jim (March 2, 2017). Titans Agree to Terms with Veteran QB Matt Cassel.
  29. Titans' Matt Cassel: Comes in in relief of Mariota. cbssports.com (October 1, 2017). Retrieved on October 1, 2017.
  30. Wyatt, Jim (October 8, 2017). Cassel Can't Rescue Titans; Latest on Marcus Mariota. titansonline.com. Archived from the original on October 8, 2017. Retrieved on October 8, 2017.
  31. Wyatt, Jim (March 9, 2018). Titans Plan to Release Cassel, Searcy, Weems.
  32. Knoblauch (April 4, 2018). Veteran QB Matt Cassel signing with Detroit Lions.

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