New Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer says he would welcome Matt Cassel back to the team if the veteran quarterback decides he wants to return.

Zimmer spoke on Thursday, less than a week before free agency opens. Cassel is opting out of the option year on his contract and is expected to explore his options in free agency. He went 3-3 in his six starts for the Vikings last year and was on the field at the end of the game for all five of the team's victories.

Zimmer replaced the fired Leslie Frazier in January. He says after reviewing last season, he liked how the team responded to Cassel's leadership.

Zimmer says he'd also like to see Jared Allen and Kevin Williams return if the money works out.