NFC Notes: Cassel, Brent, Packers, Garrard

Even after the Vikings traded back into the first round of May’s draft to select Louisville product Teddy Bridgewater, the prevailing wisdom was that Matt Cassel would be the Week 1 starter at quarterback in Minnesota. Per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports 1 (Twitter link), that notion has held, as head coach Mike Zimmer has informed the Vikings’ players that Cassel will indeed open the season as the team’s No. 1 QB.

Zimmer himself confirmed the news to reporters, including Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (on Twitter), saying that Cassel was the favorite in the competition from the start. “Matt did not do anything to lose the job this preseason,” said Zimmer. “I think he’s played great. The team has a lot of confidence in him.” Through three preseason games, Cassel has completed 26 of 39 passes for 367 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception, while Bridgewater has completed 26 of 40 pass attempts for 266 yards, four scores, and no picks.

On a macro level, this news means that no rookie quarterback will be his team’s Week 1 starter (unless Matt Schaub‘s injury lingers and David Carr is forced to take the reins for the Raiders). Chad Henne was chosen to start over Blake Bortles in Jacksonville, and Johnny Manziel lost out out Brian Hoyer in Cleveland. Still, I’d be surprised if two or three (or perhaps all four) of said rookies aren’t starting games by season’s end.

More notes from the NFC:

  • While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones appears ready to save a roster spot for Josh Brent, the defensive tackle likely won’t require an active roster spot when the NFL reinstates him. According to Ed Werder of, the league is expected to suspend Brent if and when he’s reinstated. “He’s not just going to walk back onto the field,” a source tells Werder.
  • Even after B.J. Raji‘s season-ending biceps injury, Green Bay has enough depth along the defensive line that it won’t be signing ex-Packer Ryan Pickett, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
  • Unhappy with incumbent Alex Henery, the Eagles had been scouting teams with a surplus of kickers, tweets Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Berman points to Dustin Hopkins, released by the Bills this morning, as one option for the Birds.
  • It’s unclear if he was simply being humorous, but David Garrard lobbied the Rams (via Twitter) to give him a call following Sam Bradford‘s season-ending injury. Garrard is 36 and has dealt with numerous injuries in the last few years — it’s highly doubtful St. Louis would be interested.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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