When the Chiefs brass came out earlier this offseason and made the public declaration that they were going to bring in competition for Matt Cassel, it was rare on multiple levels. First of all, the fact that the Chiefs made any public statements about their roster is a rarity. Second, it’s not a tactic used often to seemingly degrade one of their own players on the roster. Finally when the team came out in support of bringing in Peyton Manning, it seemed likely that Cassel would, in some way, serve as the team’s back-up in 2012. Apparently, that’s not the case.
The signing of Brady Quinn to a contract over the weekend signals that Cassel’s standing with the team is stronger than most might realize — at least for 2012. The mantra almost seems to be: if you can’t upgrade quarterback, then upgrade everything else.
The strategy might pay off with the addition of Peyton Hillis, Eric Winston, Kevin Boss and Stanford Routt. However, it also means the team must make due with a player it’s previously called a problem — well, not in so many words.
Bill Williamson writes, “This seals it. Matt Cassel is the Chiefs’ quarterback for 2012. The team said he will have competition. Quinn is strictly a backup. Unless the Chiefs pull a stunner and draft a quarterback in the first round (Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill would be the likely target at No. 11 in that case), Cassel will be the starter. That doesn’t mean Kansas City won’t draft someone like Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden or Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins in the second round.”
For those who called for Cassel’s ouster this offseason, you might be out of luck unless Quinn finds a form previously undiscovered or a rookie breaks through in training camp. However, it’s likely the Chefs roll the dice with Cassel and an improved, healthy team that can turn the corner in a weak division.