I was going to wait until this semester ended to post another Fanpost, but I have read too many comments from people who have no idea what they're talking about to wait any longer. These are the comments calling for Cassel to be benched. They believe that Haley and Pioli made a huge mistake in getting Cassel and if we had a top-flight QB instead we wouldn't be in this mess. While this has some truth to it, it misses the entire point. There is a very good reason why Cassel is our QB right now. To understand why, you have to look at the NFL like an economy.
In the NFL, players have a certain value. Their value isn't measured in dollars, however. It doesn't really matter the exact dollar amount a player is paid. In fact, a more expensive contract makes the player less valuable because of the cap. The value of players are measured in draft picks. A player like Croyle is worth very little, not even a 7th round draft pick, while a player like Manning is worth a lot, maybe two entire drafts. Usually, the better the player, the more their value (Although not always. A player's value is more about how good they are perceived to be than how good they actually are.)
When Pioli and Haley came here in 2009, the Chiefs had just come off a 2-14 season and were in complete shambles. They had some very important and difficult decisions to make about how to make the team better. They had to identify which players were going to develop and which players they were going to have to replace. In this regard they did very well. They saw that Hali, Bowe, Flowers, Carr, and Charles had potential, while too many to list didn't. (If you don't think they did a good job here, ask yourself how many players we cut that we later regretted). One of the ones who didn't was Brodie Croyle, who was slated to be our starter that year.
The next step was to decide how to go about replacing these players. They realized the obvious fact that our QB situation was terrible, and needed fixing. The problem is that good QB's are very expensive, and even mediocre ones will cost you a bit. Like I said above, a top-flight QB will cost you multiple first rounders at least. So they needed to decide whether to get one in the draft, or to trade for one.
In this case, trading for Cassel was a fantastic move. Other than a few players that needed to develop, we needed talent almost everywhere. And the best way to fill in several holes is through the draft. So it didn't make sense to trade for an awesome QB if it meant leaving holes all over the field. We just needed a game manager to perform at an okay level while we built the rest of the team.
So when the opportunity to trade a second for Cassel arose, it made perfect sense. Not only did we get a competent QB, we did so without breaking the bank and even got a vet in Vrabel to help mentor the young team. Compare this deal to what the Cards had to give up for Kolb and the Jets for Sanchez, the value becomes obvious. This also gave us the time to draft even more players while trusting in Cassel to not completely suck.
The problem is that Cassel is an average QB, and an average QB is good for a team that just wants to build the roster a bit, but not so good for a team that's looking to be a perennial Super Bowl contender. So now that we're past the rebuilding stage and trying to get to the Super Bowl stage, why hasn't Pioli drafted a QB to replace Cassel?
Well, this is speculation, but I suspect that he has. I believe that Pioli saw the success of QB's like Brady and Moon who were drafted late and the failure of QB's like Leaf and Russel and decided that it simply wasn't worth the risk. Why not draft a late-round QB every year until you find a good one instead of wasting first round picks on a position that often busts? They may succeed at a slightly lower rate than high first round picks, but that difference is worth it to get other players in the first round.
A first round bust can really kill a team, especially QB's. It's better to wait for a late round gem like Brady while you play with a serviceable QB than to put all your marbles into one draft pick.