KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 06: Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs walks off the field during the game against the Miami Dolphins on November 6, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Since we'll be talking a lot about the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback competition and how things might unfold in training camp and beyond, let's just make one thing clear: I hope Matt Cassel, if he starts, succeeds and has a terrific season. We're all Chiefs fans so, while we might disagree on who the quarterback should be, we all want whoever is back there to succeed because that usually means the team is winning games and winning games could lead to a Super Bowl which would lead to perhaps the greatest celebration KC has ever seen, when the Super Bowl parade goes rolling through downtown. But I'm getting slightly ahead of myself here.
The NFL offseason is prime for talking about free agency, the draft and ways to improve your team so that we can one day see that Super Bowl parade. And there's no position more popular than quarterback.
So, keeping in mind the Chiefs saying there will be competition at quarterback, I took a glance at where that competition could come from.
The draft pick: This would probably have to be a player picked in the first three rounds or so. From what I can tell, the top handful of quarterbacks -- those that could potentially challenge for playing time in year one -- will be gone within the first 2-3 rounds. From a Ryan Tannehill to a Brandon Weeden, drafting an early round quarterback doesn't seem like the best idea, barring a trade up for Robert Griffin III. I don't see any quarterbacks after Andrew Luck and RG3 that are noticeably better than Cassel, or have a significantly brighter future than him. It seems unlikely the Chiefs would find legitimate competition for Cassel in 2012 through the draft.
The young, unproven guy: Your Chase Daniel. Brady Quinn. Brian Hoyer (via trade). Dennis Dixon. Jimmy Clausen. Guys who have very little playing experience. Quinn has started 11 career games, so he's the veteran on this list, but there are plenty of guys like this around the league. The quarterback with just a year to a few years of little playing experience who you think might have a chance to develop into something. Probably not very strong competition for Cassel in 2012 but more so in 2013 and beyond.
Matt Cassel, Part 2: Something similar to the Chiefs acquiring Cassel. This year's Cassel comparison is Matt Flynn of the Packers, although he's much more unknown than Cassel was when the Chiefs traded for him. Flynn is actually on his way to free agency so he wouldn't cost a draft pick (unless he's franchised, like Cassel was). But there are other top tier backup quarterbacks who could potentially be had for a draft pick. This would be immediate competition for Cassel, but it's also unlikely the Chiefs would pay both quarterbacks.
The veteran: Basically your Damon Huard. The veteran backup. This probably wouldn't be much of a competition for the starting job. Instead, a backup option so the Chiefs don't find themselves in a situation like they did in 2011, with a shot to win the division down the stretch only to have a quarterback injury help derail it. Maybe you find another Rich Gannon, or a Kurt Warner (from Giants to Cardinals). Or maybe you find a capable backup. I pushed for a veteran quarterback last training camp and I'm still in this camp.
The stunner: As in, a stunning move I don't expect the Chiefs to make (or be in a position to make). This is your Peyton Manning, or a current top 10 starter. Or, really, trading up to get Luck or RG3. The type of wild trade talk that helps drive sports talk radio (and, to be fair, is entertaining).
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