Earlier this offseason, we suggested the Detroit Lions may be looking at veteran backup quarterbacks to compete with Jake Rudock for a spot on the roster behind Matthew Stafford. It appears the Lions have found that man, as Mike Garafolo of NFL Network is reporting that the Lions are signing veteran quarterback and former Patriot Matt Cassel:
Lions are signing QB Matt Cassel, sources tell me and @RapSheet. Former Patriots QB joins former Patriots Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia in Detroit.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 4, 2018
Cassel obviously has a connection to Lions head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn from his days in New England. But Cassel has been a journeyman quarterback since. First, he followed former Patriots personnel employee Scott Pioli to the Chiefs in a big trade. After a somewhat unsuccessful four-year run in Kansas City, Cassel has jumped from the Vikings to the Bills to the Cowboys before landing with the Titans.
Cassel has started two games for the Titans over the past two years, completing 59.1 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and four interceptions over that time period. He has a career passer rating of 78.8.
In Detroit, Cassel will bring some much-needed competition at the backup quarterback position. The Lions’ other quarterbacks on the roster are the aforementioned Rudock and Alek Torgersen. Both of those players have yet to make an NFL start.
UPDATE: The Lions have waived Torgersen.
Cassel brings starting experience in spade. Since 2005, He has started 81 games and has a 36-45 record in those games. We’ll see how (or if) the Lions utilize that experience in 2018.