There is much debate over this, and rightfully so. To me, it all depends on where you think this current team (outside the QB) is at.
Are we no where near competing? If you have that view, I think you let Orton go, take the draft pick as compensation and then draft your future QB in this draft...we most likely are out on RGIII and of course Luck...so, you look at Jones and Tanehill. Go into 2012 allowing Cassel, Stanzi and the draft pick to compete for the Starter's spot. You could resign Orton, but what are you accomplishing then, by wasting a 1st rounder on a QB and signing another QB? Then you have money in Cassel, Orton and a 1st round QB? What about Stanzi? True, 1st rounders don't make near as much...but, once you added up Cassel, Orton and 1st rounder....I think you get my drift. Plus, would Orton come back here, knowing the plan was to look for another QB? Probably not. If Orton resigns with the Chiefs, it's because he would be considered the starter. Orton won't be franchised, and he will pick the best likely place for him to start.
Now, the other option. In my mind, that first option is not a true option. The reason? This team is VERY close to competing. I've been reading on here, how many think this team is so bad. Really? We all knew how difficult the schedule is, and we may just finish 7-9. I figured we would beat the Lions and Bills and dolphins...but never thought we would beat the Packers, Colts and Bears. Yes, we got blown out and looked terrible at times. However, that was because our offense was SOOO bad, that the defense had to sit out there WAY too long. Look what the defense has done with Orton and Crennel controlling the time of possession? Much better. The Chiefs had one of the most difficult schedules...and when getting beat by the Lions, Bills and Dolphin look embarrassing...I think if you look at what those teams did throughout the season, we have nothing to be ashamed of. Dolphins almost beat the Patriots and the Bills actually did. The Lions are playoff bound.
This team is so close guys. The option for QB needs to boil down to...Cassel or Orton. And, I think we all agree, it should be Kyle Orton. BUT, you look at career numbers and you see that the Chiefs still aren't scoring that much with Orton, then why would I say that? Why do we feel more confident in Orton?
I think the answer is clear. The offensive line. Is it a coincidence that all of a sudden, the O-line looks MUCH better with Orton than Cassel? Or, are they just playing better because the new Coach has changed something? That's debatable...but here is what I see.
Orton's pocket awareness is so much better than Cassel, it's not even funny. Orton knows how to step up in the pocket...buying himself that extra second for a WR to break free. How many times did we see Cassel drop back 5 to 7 steps, and then when the edge rushers were coming around Richardson and Albert...Cassel would try to side step...or run backwards. Matt rarely knew how to step up in the pocket the way Orton does. Orton also has MUCH steadier feet than Cassel. Matt is always dancing back there, and that's why he is never in position to step up and make the throw. The past 2 weeks, this has become very clear.
Also, Orton ACTUALLY knows how to "look off" the safety. This is evident when you watch the game. Cassel would lock into his target, the safety would drift over...so, Cassel always had to check down. Cassel rarely beat teams with his QB savvy. Sure, he beat up on terrible defenses last year...but, when it was a good Defense...he is terrible. How many times did we see Orton look left, then throw a dart to the right. That helps keep the free safety confused...thus allowing more guys to get open. We never saw this kind of stuff from Cassel. That's the type of think we have missed. Also, Orton has a much better arm than Cassel. He can throw deeper and is more risk to hit that "out route" than Cassel is. Notice how the ball gets on the WR quicker with Orton...With Cassel, the completions were always so difficult..because, by the time the ball got there the defender was just getting there...so, either you had an incomplete pass...or a difficult catch by Bowe that was made. For the first time, we have a QB who is throwing our WR open.
Did Orton make some bad decisions on Sunday? Absolutely. Am I saying he is Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. No...not many can match that. What I am saying is this. If Brady and Rodgers are 10's....I would put Cassel as a 5 and Orton as a 7. I don't think it's fair, to just compare numbers 100%.
Everyone would love to have those guys to run their team. Here is my off-season game plan.
1) Trade Cassel to any team willing to take him. He won't give us much compensation in return. Maybe you could trade him to a team for a 2013, 6th rounder, that is conditional up to a 3rd rounder if he starts all games and throws for 20+ TD's. Not sure if you could structure it exactly that way...but I think a team would deal for him, and be happy to give up a conditional 4th or 3rd rounder if he has a good year. Maybe the Seahawks, Broncos, Redskins or Dolphins would be comfortable with that.
2) Resign Kyle Orton. Hopefully you could do a 1 to 2 year deal with Incentives. He hasn't done enough this year to warrant a long term deal.
3) Resign Dwayne Bowe. Franchise him, if you have to.
4) Resign Brandon Carr. If there is still the transition tag, I would do that. Hopefully they will lock up him or Bowe, and then can tag the other guy
5) Draft the best position available. It might be an OT or DT or LB or even a RB....take the best player available. Hopefully a stud Tackle is sitting there...If not, take the best available.
6) Draft another QB from the 4th round on...and let him and Stanzi compete for backup duties to Orton.
7) Get Charles, Berry, Maoeki and Siler healthy.
8) Hire McDaniel's as OC only! Not Head Coach...Re-up Crennel as Head Coach. Muir back to O-line and Gibbs as D-Coordinator. People forget, but Orton put up some great numbers in only 13 games as Josh McDaniels as his coach. Instill that same offense with this team...
In 13 games in 2010, he complete 59% of his passes for 20 TD's and 9 Int and threw for 3600 yards. Had he played in 16 games...he would have a line like this
59% completion, 25 TD's and 11 int with 4,200 yards.
You put that behind a good defense (which we have) and your looking at a really good team.
Go into 2012 with Kyle Orton, Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaton, Jonathan Baldwin and Tony Maoeki...with McCluster as a Darren Sproles type (hopefully he can become that), you should be able to score some points consistently. Charles made Cassel look great...imagine how he will make Orton look.
Hopefully Orton, does what we all expect and hope he can do. After 2 years of seeing what he can do...if he is legit, he get's resigned...If he is not, hopefully Stanzi and or the other QB's that have been drafted are viable options.
Well, that's how I would approach the off-season. I'm not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. I liked Haley, but he may have been to hard headed to work with. This team is very close...and those that were tricked by the 10-6 season, and expected 11-5 against this schedule were totally delusional in my opinion. We are right on pace for what most of us expected. Now, we actually have a QB to get a little more excited about. Kyle Orton.