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The Sports Xchange, Published February 17 2014

Taking a look at the Vikings' free agents

Quarterback Matt Cassel has exercised his right to opt out of the final year of his two-year deal he signed with the Vikings last year. With his decision to void the final year of his contract, Cassel will become a free agent on March 11.

Cassel faced a deadline in January. Had he decided not to opt out, the Vikings would have had until March to either pay Cassel a $500,000 roster bonus or release him.

Cassel was due to earn $3.7 million with the Vikings next year. Now he will take his chances in the free-agent market.

Cassel played in nine games for the Vikings last year, including six starts. The Vikings were 3-3 in games he started, but Cassel came off the bench to help Minnesota win two other games.

Linebacker Eric Henderson, who started 12 games for the Vikings this past season but had some run-ins with the law, was released by the Vikings.

The 27-year-old Henderson, who played both middle and outside linebacker for the Vikings, played in 14 games in 2013 and had four sacks and two interceptions.

However, he was arrested a second time for suspicion of DUI in January. He was arrested on New Year's Day for suspicion of driving under the influence in Chanhassen, Minn.

Henderson had also been arrested in November 2013 for probable cause of driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance.

Henderson sued the state of Minnesota in late November, stating the police didn't have probable cause to stop him.

By releasing Henderson, the Vikings cleared $2.1 million of cap space.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• DE Jared Allen

• DT Kevin Williams

• LG Charlie Johnson

• RB Toby Gerhart

• CB Chris Cook

• WR Jerome Simpson

• DL Everson Griffen

• C-G Joe Berger

• LB Desmond Bishop

• LB Marvin Mitchell

• OT J'Marcus Webb

• WR Joe Webb

• DT Fred Evans

• QB Josh Freeman

• DE Justin Trattou