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Detroit Lions 2018 roster review: Matt Cassel proved Lions need to upgrade backup QB position

Matt Cassel served as the Lions’ backup quarterback in 2018, and fortunately didn’t see much action. If Cassel is back in 2018, it doesn’t bode well for the Lions.

Detroit Lions v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

With the Detroit Lions’ offseason well underway, we continue our 2018 roster review. Today’s case in review is that of backup quarterback Matt Cassel.

Previously: Luke Willson, Ezekiel Ansah, LeGarrette Blount

Matt Cassel

Outlook before 2018:

Matt Cassel is a journeyman if there ever has been such a thing. Throughout his 14-year career, Cassel has made stops in Kansas City, New England, Minnesota, Dallas, Buffalo, and Tennessee, and landed in Detroit for the 2018 season.

At first, is seemed as though Cassel was simply brought in to give incumbent backup quarterback Jake Rudock a little push, but it wasn’t long before Rudock was supplanted as backup in training camp. Preseason football was a pain to watch as neither performed well by any means, but Cassel edged out Rudock for the job late in the preseason.

While Cassel got the backup quarterback job, it was clear that the Lions were in deep trouble if he ever saw the field.

Actual Role in 2018:

2018 stats: 7-of-17 (41.2%), 59 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
PFF grade: 48.6

Cassel didn’t see much playing time out of necessity, and the Lions were lucky for that. He did have a brief stint in the Lions’ Week 1 opener against the Jets, going 2-for-6 for 14 yards with an interception. He also saw action in the Lions’ Week 16 matchup against the Vikings after Matthew Stafford was pulled in the fourth quarter in what had turned into a lost cause. Aside from that, however, Cassel was limited to the sideline.

Outlook for 2019:

Contract Status: Unrestricted free agent

With an expiring contract heading into 2019, the Lions should not and probably will not retain Cassel. If Matthew Stafford went down in 2018, the season was instantly a lost cause with Cassel at quarterback, and Bob Quinn can’t let that be the case again next season.

The Lions have already brought in former Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, but don’t let that rule out signing another backup or even drafting a quarterback. Whatever happens at backup quarterback next year, don’t expect it to involve Cassel.


Should the Lions re-sign Matt Cassel?

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