From the FanPosts. I dropped in the picture. -Chris
This is one of what I am sure will be countless fan posts on the Cassel contract. I figured I’d throw it out there anyway because it’s a blog and that is the point right. So I’ll keep this relatively short. I am going to address what I consider to be the main criticism (mainly coming from the media) that I keep hearing regarding the Cassel signing and then move onto a few real quick reasons (most of which have been already said) that point to this as a smart signing.
Main Criticism: Chiefs Supporting Cast is Weak
I don’t know if you guys have heard but the Kansas City Chiefs don’t have Randy Moss. Was a Cassel a better quarterback because of Moss? Absolutely. Will he be terrible without him? Absolutely not. The argument that the Chiefs have a weaker supporting cast and therefore overpaid for Matt Cassel fails to shed much light onto whether the Chiefs should have signed Cassel to the six year 60 million dollar deal.
First, the assumed lower number may not indicate poor quarterback play. If Cassel doesn’t put up the number this year that he did last there are a ton of factors to include—new system, new coach, different players, and different requirements. Cassel was the New England offense last year (I heard a report from Jay Glazer that the Patriots almost signed Turtle as a running back last year). There is a chance that this years Chiefs offense runs through LJ (go easy on me—I just said a chance).
Second, Cassel’s contract numbers should not be determined by the assumed Chief’s offensive talent level. Hypothetically speaking, assume that the Chiefs signed Peyton Manning this year for 100 million dollars. Nobody would say that the Chiefs overpaid for Peyton Manning due to the existing talent level on the squad. Critics would argue that Peyton won’t be as productive due to a different system, but they would not argue that he was not worth the money. Can you argue that because a QB will be less productive in your system you should not sign him—absolutely not? That is a defeatist Clipper mentality under which no decent GM operates. Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that it is true.
Remember when Vermeil’s offense was not suppose to work in KC because he didn’t have Faulk, Bruce, and Warner and KC was outdoors on grass. How did that argument work out? Finally, it is not an actual criticism of the signing. The criticism is saying "Cassel is worth six years and sixty million dollars, but just not in Kansas City." That is a criticism of the franchise, not the signing. And with a new GM, owner, coach, front office, and even stadium, the franchise is essentially new and I don’t think any criticism based of recent past Chief performance is fair or even logical.
Third, the argument assumes static personnel groups. I think there is every reason in the world to believe that the Chiefs will look at improving offensive personnel next year (especially OL). The only legitimate line of reasoning in this argument is that Cassel is overrated talent wise due to the New England system. I don’t think that is true, but I do understand that argument.
Fourth, if Cassel’s performance does dip because of the assumed lackluster Chief’s current personal, then he wasn’t overpaid because he won’t get the performance incentives, which make up about half his contract. The contract may be front-loaded and you could argue that he will be overpaid for the first few year. However, that argument fails when you consider you have to compare the contract to at least one and possibly two franchise tenders.
Risk Management: Why it was a Good Idea to Sign Him Now
I just want to touch on why this is a good deal and most of these points have been stated already and I know that you guys are aware of them:
Pioli knows Cassel, the deal is consistent with what QB’s are getting paid, the cost of QB’s will go up next year due to the Manning and Rivers free agency, the Chiefs had to pay him 14 million this year anyway, the Chiefs needed to spend money, etc. I just wanted to make a risk assessment point. The worst thing that could happen to the Chiefs is that Cassel goes down for the season the first game of the year (knock on wood).
If he wasn’t signed the Chiefs would be looking at having to pay 14 million this year for an IR spot and then be in the exact same situation again next year. The Chiefs would have to ask is Cassel worth a long-term deal? I get the argument that you can make a better assessment of Cassel’s ability by watching him one more year. However, there is a chance by waiting and seeing you just wait—and don’t get to see him play.
And then what do you do? Trade him away so you can sign a former NFC quarterback with a neck beard that challenges Horace Greeley?