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Matt Cassel signs 2-year extension with Titans

The veteran passer will continue to back up Marcus Mariota in Nashville.

NFL: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Cassel is sticking with the Tennessee Titans. The journeyman backup will continue to serve as insurance for Marcus Mariota after signing a two-year, $5.25 million contract with the Titans after spending 2016 with the team.

While he’s a known commodity with name recognition, his recent performances — a 70.7 passer rating since 2015 that makes him a slightly younger version of Ryan Fitzpatrick — suggest the Titans will have to hope he doesn’t see extended action next fall.

In 2016, he made only one start for the Titans, completing 16 of 26 passes for 150 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 24-17 win over the Houston Texans.

Cassel earned a spot in the 2005 NFL draft despite never starting a game at USC. He spent four seasons with the Trojans backing up Heisman winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart before being selected in the seventh round by the New England Patriots.

He finally earned a chance to start three seasons later. Cassel was the man on the spot when Tom Brady was lost for the year thanks to a torn ACL in the first game of the 2008 season. The young quarterback played capably in relief, throwing for more than 3,600 yards and leading New England to an 11-5 record.

With Brady set to return, the Patriots took advantage of Cassel’s newfound trade value and shipped him to the Chiefs, where he took over as the team’s quarterback of the future. Though his second season with the team ended in a Pro Bowl berth, he went just 19-28 as a starter, effectively ending his run as a full-time starter.

Instead, he took backup roles with the Vikings, Cowboys, Bills, and Titans and earned spot starts at each destination. He has just a 21:22 touchdown:interception ratio over the past four seasons, but has proven to be a reasonable, if not exciting, backup option behind center.

That was enough to convince the Titans that he was worth keeping around.