Three years ago, the Kansas City Chiefs made a trade with the New England Patriots for quarterback Matt Cassel and soon after signed him to a six-year, $62.7 million contract extension. It was a large amount of money for backup quarterback that had one full NFL season under his belt.
Well Chiefs fans, how’s that working out? We’d say not too well.
Cassel – who is now in his fourth year with Kansas City – has been inconsistent throughout his tenure, though coaching changes and a number of key injuries haven’t helped his cause. This season, he had a 58.5 completion percentage and threw nine interceptions against five touchdowns. Arrowhead fans finally had enough with Cassel and the struggling 1-4 Chiefs last Sunday, cheering when their quarterback was injured and forced to leave with a concussion against the Baltimore Ravens.
Coach Romeo Crennel ruled out Cassel for Kansas City’s game this weekend at Tampa Bay, stating that doctors have not cleared the 30-year-old for game activity; though he did spend a short amount of time in the team’s practice facility this week. Now the Chiefs – perhaps the best of the AFC bottom dwellers – will rely on a quarterback that has not started a game since the 2009 season.
That quarterback is former Notre Dame Fighting Irish standout Brady Quinn.
Quinn – a former first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns – has been taking the bulk of the snaps at practice this week, while Ricky Stanzi has backed him up. With Cassel out last weekend, Quinn came in and was a perfect three-for-three in the final series against the Ravens, and even threw the go-ahead touchdown before it was called back due to an offensive pass interference penalty.
The last time Quinn started an NFL game was on Dec. 20. 2009, when he threw for just 66 yards and two interceptions en route to an injury in a 41-34 win over his current team. He was soon placed on injured reserve, at which point soon after he was traded to the Denver Broncos. Now it looks as though he has one last shot at becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL.
''I'm still just preparing and staying ready,'' Quinn told FOX Sports. ''One of the biggest differences for me is you get to practice more instead of taking more mental reps, so that's an advantage.''
The quarterback position has been a hot-button topic for the Chiefs since the days of Trent Green. Now the hopes of a turnaround and playoff berth are on the shoulders of Quinn. No matter what happens, Kansas City needs to set aside a draft pick to help secure the team’s future at the position.
I hope demanding a replacement for Cassel doesn’t come back to bite you in the butt, Chiefs fans.
Photo Credit: Jeff Moffett/Icon SMI