Could QB Matt Cassel return to AFC East?

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
11:44
AM ET
The thin free-agent quarterback market just gained a new player. The Kansas City Chiefs released quarterback Matt Cassel on Thursday after four up-and-down seasons.

Cassel made his name with the New England Patriots before leaving for Kansas City in 2009. Could Cassel rejoin the AFC East?

Let's examine.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills should be interested in anyone and everyone who becomes available at quarterback. This team is desperate after cutting former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick this week. The Bills are left with backup Tarvaris Jackson, who is not the long-term solution. Buffalo will almost certainly draft a rookie quarterback next month, but it could use another veteran quarterback like Cassel to compete. Perhaps the biggest issue is Cassel does not necessarily fit the wide-open, spread offense Buffalo wants to run under new coach Doug Marrone. Buffalo would have to tailor its offense to fit Cassel's limitations.

New York Jets

The Jets just signed veteran quarterback David Garrard to compete with Mark Sanchez. Going after another veteran quarterback, especially with very little cap room, might be overkill for a team that must fill so many other needs. I do not expect the Jets to go after Cassel. But if Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb soon becomes available, which is a strong possibility, New York might consider it. New Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg coached Kolb in Philadelphia and will run a similar West Coast system.

New England Patriots

Cassel made his name in New England when he replaced the injured Tom Brady in 2008 and led the Patriots to an 11-5 record. That performance earned Cassel a big contract with Kansas City. There is a chance Cassel could return full circle with the Patriots if they decide to trade young backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. The Patriots reportedly are getting some interest around the league in Mallett. Cassel could be an insurance policy to back up Brady if New England receives an offer it cannot refuse for Mallett.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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