Welcome to the legal tampering period! We’re close to the flurry of Chiefs activity being official. What trades they have made can’t be finalized until March 14.
While it would be the opposite of flashy, I believe the Chiefs should bring back one of their own and a hero on the east side of Arrowhead to backup their new potential hero Patrick Mahomes. I’m of course talking about Chase Daniel.
There’s a faction of the fanbase that wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea of Daniel coming back. That’s partially why I’m writing about it.
There are logical reasons (both tangible and intangible) for the deal to happen. While it may seem uninspiring, Daniel could play a critical role in helping develop Mahomes for a smaller salary than others may command.
The success or failure of the 2018 season falls on Mahomes. No pressure—that’s just the reality. It’s true for a vast majority of organizations. A streak like the one Nick Foles finished the season on rarely comes around. Even that was propped up by a significant head start to a Super Bowl run via the success of Carson Wentz. Whether it’s Daniel or someone else, the likelihood the Chiefs will be able to make a run depends on the health of Mahomes.
Mahomes’ development requires a veteran presence. Young quarterbacks need a soundboard. They need someone to help them prepare throughout the week, someone who can help catch smaller details he otherwise might have missed.
Daniel’s experience and familiarity with Andy Reid’s system checks those boxes. It’s a more critical component than some may believe. Having a person well versed in a scheme, who has seen a lot of football and has been surrounded by great quarterbacks would benefit a signal caller in his first year as a starter.
Something else important: the cost shouldn’t be outlandish. Daniel made a mere $900,000 last season. Any bidding wars for his services shouldn’t escalate to unrealistic figures. Take into account that Daniel has lived here previously, has familial roots here and has the strongest brand that a 31-year-old backup with limited in-game experience can have in a city.
One other backup I think would be interesting is Josh McCown should he be available. His cost would be significantly higher. Daniel will likely check off the cost box.
Daniel as a player is non-threatening. A larger investment like McCown would put the Chiefs in a spot where struggles could lead to calling for a change. You wouldn’t see the same conversations with Daniel.
An ideal scenario, now that the Chiefs have an additional seventh-round pick added to their draft capital, would be to invest in a late-round quarterback or undrafted free agent from the 2018 class.
An additional young quarterback would allow the Chiefs to have a player of similar age as Mahomes in the room and to push both Daniel and Mahomes. If Daniel struggles, another young quarterback could step into the backup role. It’s a low-cost way to have enough in the building to keep Mahomes honest while allowing him enough comfortability to flourish.
It’s smart business to continue to try to develop that third quarterback. Should a late-round quarterback grow into more than that small investment, the Chiefs would be able to get a decent return-on-investment.
I believe that to be an excellent environment for Mahomes to grow into without breaking the bank. I would be comfortable with that as a plan moving forward. This season, and hopefully the next several, will fall on Mahomes anyway.