Alright I am CERTAIN this case has already been made but I'm on the fence about this. I have been torn between Thigpen and the possibility of trading for Cassel for some time now.Obviously Thigpen would come at no cost for us, and if he pans out, he would be the biggest gem the Chiefs have ever earthed up since Brian Waters was picked up as a Free Agent center from the Berlin Thunder.
Cassel is a little more established as a QB having had the opportunity of shadowing Tom Brady and being coached by Josh McDaniels. He proved last season that he could handle a high octane offense. Small problem Kansas City is a receiver and two or three linemen away from a high octane offense.
Cassel passed for 21 TD's against 11 INT's, 3,693 yards, and 2 rushing TD's against 7 fumbles. 11 TD's went to Moss, 3 went to Welker.
Cassel put up big numbers, but leaves people bewildered about whether he is just another Bellichik product. I can't really give you any examples of players that have left the Pats' that panned out well because the Pats' never let go of players, and the ones they do let go of are over the hill. Adam Vinitieri, Roosevelt Colvin, Donte Stallworth, and Ty Law are the only guys I can think of in recent memory that were "shockers" when released from the Pats and only Vinitieri really panned out well, but he's a kicker no scheme fall off there. A concern about Cassel is that he has hit his ceiling as a QB, he's young but given his noodle arm and lack of serious mobility he may have already shown the NFL everything he has to offer, it's a what you see is what you get deal. Another knock on Cassel is the bills that come with him. He would be getting paid the average of the top five payed QB's in the NFL because of the Franchise tender that just got put on him, not to mention the near 15 million dollar cap number he'll be carrying.
Thigpen, as aforementioned would cost the Chiefs absolutely nothing and if he pans out we would have a starting quarterback with a very low cap number and salary, That never happens in the NFL. A big plus about Thigpen is his potential, he's shown us that he has a rocket arm, decent accuracy, and amazing mobility, but his smarts leave something to be desired. If he can get some good coaching we could really have something here. I'm sure this has been brought up many a time but Thigpen beat out playoff QB's such as Ben Rothlisberger, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Jake Delhomme, and Gus Frerotte in TD's. This was basically his rookie year, also all of the aformentioned QB's were starters from week 1. Whereas Thigpen took his starting position full time in week 8.
He started against Atlanta but only threw one touchdown, he also threw a touchdown against Oakland the week before. He threw for 18 TD's, 12 INT's, 3 rushing TD's against 4 fumbles and one receiving TD. 6 passing TD's went to Dwayne Bowe and 9 went to Gonzalez. All of this was in a little over half a season. Taking away the Atlanta and Oakland games (shouldn't count as starts), Thigpens stats over the season would have been 32 TD's, 18 INT's, and 6 rushing TD's if he did the same thing in the other half of the season. Not too shabby eh?
Thigpen could just be another pretender though. The only reason he was able to succeed was because Gailey switched to a spread to boost offensive production. The ballot is still out on whether Thigpen can be an NFL system QB. He often tries to force passes into tight spaces, and sometimes has trouble hitting players in stride.
I think I'm leaning on Thigpen just because I honestly believe if we can get a good QB's coach on Haley's staff, Haley and Gailey will make sure he succeeds even if he is a system QB he could be our QB for many years. Also Cassel and Thigpen are about the same gamble, I'd rather play it safe but I wanna see if you guys can convince me