Chiefs rid themselves of Cassel

The NFL’s weak class of free-agent quarterbacks has a new addition – Matt Cassel.

Kansas City waived their former starting quarterback on Thursday morning, the team announced. Just hours later, Cassel agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings, senior NFL writer Jay Glazer reports.

Cassel’s departure from the Chiefs was considered inevitable. Kansas City completed a trade with San Francisco for new starter Alex Smith earlier this week and signed New Orleans Saints backup Chase Daniel in free agency.

”We’ve communicated with him and he understood the situation that was taking place today,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Cassel, shortly after Smith was introduced at Chiefs’ training facility. ”It wasn’t a secret to him or his representatives.”

Cassel, 30, was acquired via trade by Kansas City in 2009 after a solid season replacing an injured Tom Brady in New England. Cassel’s best year came in 2010 when he threw 27 touchdowns with just seven interceptions as the Chiefs made the playoffs.

Cassel, though, failed to duplicate such success in an injury-shortened 2011 campaign and lost his starting job to Brady Quinn midway through last season.

”I felt at the end of the day, this was the best fit for this organization as we being this new chapter,” Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said. ”I think (Smith) brings us experience, I think he brings leadership. I think he has all the physical skills to propel us for the years to come here.”

Cassel should have appeal to teams seeking a seasoned backup quarterback a la Ryan Fitzpatrick, who also is on the market after being released Tuesday by Buffalo. The NFL Network reported that the release of former Arizona starter Kevin Kolb is imminent as well.

”He’s a good football player and deserves the respect we’re going to try to give him right now,” Reid said. ”We think that’s important.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.