There’s been a lot of discussion here over the past six weeks or so as to whether or not the Chiefs should trade down in the first round or not. The primary reasoning for the Chiefs trading down is to acquire more high draft picks in a year with an abundantly deep draft. Unfortunately, trading down is not a unilateral decision. It takes two to tango. If such an opportunity comes, it will come on draft day. Any team looking to move up will also have to decide whether to wait until after the Redskins select, or deal with the Redskins, rather than us. One team that is often mentioned in this scenario is the Buffalo Bills. Let’s take a look at this scenario from the Bills’ standpoint.
According to NFL Network, in their “State of the Franchise” segment on the Bills, they are in dire need of a QB. The commentators who postulated that QB was the Bills’ #1 priority went so far as to say that next year’s QB wasn’t yet on the Bill’s roster. The knee-jerk response to this quandary would be for the Bills to trade their first and second round picks (plus a lower pick) to move up high enough to select Clausen. Chan Gaily is, I think, smarter than that. All he needs to do is take a quick look at the careers of David Carr, Andre Ware, Jamarcus Russell, and even Brady Quinn. Each of these QB’s were drafted by bad teams. They weren’t protected, and were sacked many times. Their play suffered, and the quality of their skills deteriorated. They picked up bad habits, which could take years to work out. Therefore, I’ll bet Gaily will do the smart thing. He’s going to stand pat in the first round, and take the best LT still on the board. So I guess they’ll go the next season without a QB? Not necessarily. Chan knows the Chiefs’ personnel. I believe we put a second round tender on Croyle. The Bills should offer Croyle a contract. I think this would be a move beneficial to both teams. The Bills come out of it with a young LT to protect Croyle’s blind side, and a reasonably young QB with a great arm and good decision-making skills. Protect him, & Chan’s got something to work with. The Chiefs get the extra draft choice to use to rebuild their roster.
There is a theoretical down side for the Chiefs to this move. First, if Cassel goes down, the team is in the hands of Gutierrez or Palko. To me, when you’re rebuilding, this is a chance you have to take. Second, if Cassel’s not the guy, you don’t have Croyle to turn the team over to next year. To this I say, Peoli has to trust his instincts. He thought Cassel was good enough to trade for last year. Go with it. Like in poker; if you’ve got a hand, don’t be afraid to play it.
Back to Gaily. Does he have any other options? He could just go with Trent Edwards & hope his play improves. Daunte Culpepper is still out there. However, he may not be interested at this point in time (if I were Culpepper, I’d be watching the situation in Pittsburgh closely; the Steelers, who are a stronger team than the Bills, could be in desperate need of a QB before the season begins).
Back to the Chiefs. So, what do they do if the Bills make an offer to Croyle? They could match it. The organization hasn’t shown any proclivity towards throwing money around unnecessarily. They could sign another unemployed vet QB who has no chance of making serious contributions to the team., but would be one more arm for OTA’s and early camp. They could wait until final cuts to see if anyone has to let a QB with some potential go. Finally, we could draft our own in the fifth round; someone with a name like Kafka, Brown, or Robinson.
Now this is all interesting (I hope) reading, but most likely nothing will come of if. For one thing, there just doesn’t seem to be much action anywhere on the RFA front.