Lions set to sign journeyman QB Matt Cassel

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions are bringing in a veteran quarterback to compete with Jake Rudock for the opportunity to back up Matthew Stafford.

According to multiple reports, the Lions have agreed to sign Matt Cassel. In a corresponding move, the team announced the release of quarterback Alex Torgersen, who spent part of last season on the practice squad.

Cassel, 35, spent his first four seasons with the New England Patriots before he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009. He’s bounced around the league the past several years, playing for four teams in five season, including the past two with the Tennessee Titans.

The 13-year veteran has plenty of experience, appearing in 106 games, including 81 starts. He earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2010, throwing for 3,116 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Chiefs.

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Cassel will push Rudock for a job. A sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Michigan in 2017, Rudock served as Stafford’s backup last season.

Rudock replaced an injured Stafford late in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, completing three of his five passes, but also had an interception returned 45 yards for a touchdown after failing to recognize an incoming blitz.

At the league meetings last week, Lions coach Matt Patricia was asked his thoughts on Rudock.

“Really talented guy,” Patricia said. “He’s got a strong arm. Does a good job of reading defense from my experience playing against him, what I’ve seen on the film, and we’ll just have to see how it develops here as we go.”