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Cassel staying in purple: QB, Vikings agree on two-year, $10 million contract

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) passes against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Metrodome in December. The Vikings have agreed to keep the veteran in Minnesota. (USA Today Sports photo)

Matt Cassel is staying in Minnesota.

The veteran quarterback reached agreement on a two-year, $10 million contract to remain with the Vikings, reported Friday night.

On Feb. 7, Cassel opted out of the second year of his two-year deal with the Vikings, exercising a clause that allowed him to void the contract within five days of the Super Bowl. But the two sides expressed mutual interest in keeping him in Minnesota and worked out an agreement before he became a free agent.

Cassel came to Minnesota last season from the Kansas City Chiefs to be a backup to Vikings starter Christian Ponder. But he took over the job in September after Ponder was injured during a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in London.

The 31-year-old Cassel started six games and played in nine last season, leading the Vikings in passing yards with 1,807 yards and throwing for 11 touchdowns with nine interceptions despite playing in three fewer games than Ponder. Cassel’s best performance was a 382-yard passing day in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 15.

The Vikings used Cassel, Ponder and Josh Freeman, acquired during the 2013 season from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as starters last year. The team struggled to a 5-10-1 record but was 3-3 with Cassel as the starter. He also came off the bench to help the Vikings to two other victories.

Under the terms of the previous contract, Cassel was due to make $3.7 million with the Vikings in 2014.

The Vikings how have two quarterbacks under contract for next season with Cassel and Ponder and could add a third through the draft or free agency.

Vikings re-sign CB Sherels

The Minnesota Vikings re-signed cornerback and punt-returner Marcus Sherels, the team announced Friday.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

Sherels appeared in all 16 games in 2013, including four starts.

He set the Vikings single-season record with a punt return average of 15.2 yards per return, which ranked second in the NFL.

Former Vikings TE Carlson lands job with Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals signed tight end John Carlson to a two-year contract on Friday for a reported $4.65 million.

The Minnesota Vikings released the 29-year-old Carlson this week after two seasons with the team. Carlson has a history of concussions, including the third one of his career that ended the 2013 season after 13 games.

Carlson came to the Vikings after three years with the Seattle Seahawks that included two seasons with more than 50 catches. He never approached those totals with the Vikings, finishing with 32 receptions for 344 yards and one touchdown last season.

Carlson signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Vikings in 2012 after three years with the Seattle Seahawks. He collected $9.55 million in guarantees during his two seasons in Minnesota, according to

Carlson’s best years were his first two in the NFL when he had 55 and 51 catches with a combined 12 touchdowns in 2008 and 2009 for the Seahawks.