No offense to Chase Daniel. None whatsoever.
As a Chiefs fan, I've quite enjoyed having a veteran presence at the No. 2 slot behind Alex Smith at quarterback. It feels a bit reckless to me to roll with a rookie. I know other teams do just fine with a new guy holding the proverbial clipboard as their starter never gets injured (a la the Patriots). That said, too many teams have a carousel, and the season is wrecked by some late round flier given starts he has yet to earn.
But the Chiefs are no longer at that point. That is why I think it's important for the Chiefs to move on from Chase Daniel this offseason.
I wouldn't have to write any of this if John Dorsey hadn't left the door open. Leaving the door open is common around here, a franchise steeped in professionalism. Never say never. Never say more than you have to say, for that matter. Why not leave a light on, a door open for anything to happen? It doesn't mean Daniel will take that opportunity.
Except here's the thing: when John Dorsey said he'd want Chase Daniel back at the right price, it allowed for the possibility that the Chiefs depth chart at quarterback could remain the same for four consecutive seasons. Such continuity at the top is excellence. Alex Smith remaining healthy for every single game is essential to offensive success. But such stability underneath is not so great. Three years? Fine. Four? No way.
2013: Alex. Chase. Tyler.
2014: Alex. Chase. Aaron/Tyler.
2015: Alex. Chase. Aaron/Tyler.
If 2016 ends up reading the same, the Chiefs will still have no real idea whether or not they have some real substance in the (fading) youth of Aaron Murray and Tyler Bray. They've learned the playbook. The coaches see them in OTAs, in workouts, in training camp, and certainly in practice throughout the season. But when the pads are on and they're lined up under center, it's a totally different thing.
Certainly there are even questions about Chase Daniel, but he's been given enough bits of experience to give a taste. After two and three years of experience in Andy Reid's offensive system for Murray and Bray, respectively, it's time for them to start earning those same slices of experience.
For those who think Chase Daniel's return will not happen, I'd point to the Philadelphia Eagles. They told us more than anyone else has told us about Daniel's ability to start at the NFL level to date. With a brand new coach in former Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, the Eagles decided they'd rather have the middling production provided by Sam Bradford for $18 million per year to whatever they believed Daniel could provide.
(If you think that Howie Roseman didn't ask Doug Pederson into his office for his input before signing over $22 million guaranteed, you're mistaken.)
If the Eagles aren't interested, why would some of the other teams who need help? As a back-up? Sure thing. As a veteran to help usher along a rookie? Maybe. Let's hope that's the case — that some team pulling the trigger on Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, Carson Wentz or Connor Cook will also bring Chase Daniel into the mix for a new depth chart.
However, if it's about being a back-up again, Daniel has an option already open to him, a familiar environment where he would fit comfortably. It'd be like the last three years all over again. And as good as the last three years have been in terms of continuity, it's not what the Chiefs need right now.
Dorsey would have been better off shutting the door completely.