At his introductory press conference, new Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said: "I've got to find that next Len Dawson, doggone it. It might be right here, it might not." Maybe he didn't find the next Len Dawson with the trade for Alex Smith and the signing of free agent Chase Daniel, but those two have a connection to Lenny.
The KC Star's Adam Teicher points out this nugget: "The last time the Chiefs acquired the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart in the same year was 1962, when they added Len Dawson and Eddie Wilson."
Hopefully we can start comparing Alex Smith AND Chase Daniel to Len Dawson and set expectations so high that we are guaranteed to be disappointed.
That's a neat stat!
We wondered at the end of the season if the Chiefs would have a complete overhaul of the quarterback position, and that still has a chance of happening. We're two-thirds of the way through so far, with the new No. 1 and No. 2. The future of the No. 3 will determine whether this is a complete overhaul.
The Chiefs have committed two draft picks and two decent contracts to Smith and Daniel. Smith has over $15 million remaining on his contract. He is the starter and there is no question about that. Daniel is a high-paid backup, a position where, ideally, he doesn't ever step foot on the field in a meaningful game. Those are your top two quarterbacks next season, the contracts have made that clear.
What's also made clear by these deals is that the Chiefs probably aren't going to draft a quarterback. At least not this year. We thought they could still reasonably consider a passer in the third round or beyond but with the No. 1 and No. 2 quarterback in Kansas City wrapped up for what we believe is a minimum of one, maybe two years, I'm not sure that's happening. If the Chiefs were planning on drafting a quarterback in the third or fourth round, they wouldn't have paid Chase Daniel so well, right?
The Chiefs quarterback situation also speaks volumes about what John Dorsey and Andy Reid thought about the quarterbacks in this draft. Think about it: the Chiefs had the No. 1 pick, No. 34 pick and (as many as) two third round picks, giving them a terrific opportunity to draft a quarterback without giving up the farm to do it. And what do they do? They give up draft picks for a vet and sign a guy with nine career passes to a $10 million backup contract. That says a lot.
The Chiefs aren't treating the backup quarterback the same as the old regime did. But has anything really changed? I say that because Chase Daniel is completely unproven. Just because he's paid well doesn't make him a good player. I'm not knocking the move -- just pointing out the reality that we don't know what kind of player he is.