Matt Cassel Released, Possible Jaguars QB Competition?
By Luke Sims
Nov 25, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) carries the ball against the Denver Broncos in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Yeah, this one is going to sound bad, really bad, especially in light of the Jacksonville Jaguars sending their big wigs to the West Virginia Pro Day to scout Geno Smith, but the Jaguars need to bring someone in to be push or beat out Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne at quarterback. Assuming Smith isn’t going to be the guy the Jags draft, Cassel becomes a pretty viable option.
Cassel was an overpaid player in Kansas City following one very good year filling in for Tom Brady in New England. He did have one Pro Bowl season, 2010, when he tossed 27 touchdowns, just seven interceptions, 3,116 yards, and 58.2% of his passes were complete. Other than that, Cassel has been a disappointment for the Chiefs. He has never completed more than 60% of his passes while in Kansas City and he has never completed a full season. He has only played in 18 games over the last two seasons as the Chiefs search for their answer at quarterback. Being benched in favor of Brady Quinn may have been the final nail indication that Cassel’s time in Kansas City was over.
With the trade for Alex Smith complete, the Chiefs have now jettisoned Cassel and he is on the open market to be picked up by the highest bidder. It is doubtful that teams offer Cassel anything near his six-year $62.7 million contract he signed with the Chiefs in 2009. In a thin quarterback market, there will be offers, make no mistake.
While Cassel likely won’t be the cheapest option at quarterback, he would be an immediate upgrade as a backup over Chad Henne and he could really fight Gabbert for the starting role. Cassel is 29-33 as a starter and has 82 touchdown passes to 57 interceptions. If the Jags are looking for a player who has experience winning and being successful, Cassel could be their guy. He is not the most accurate player in the league and teams should never again confuse him as a franchise quarterback, but if teams are looking for a player to be a bridge to the future, like the Jags sound like they are, then Cassel could be that guy. He would have to beat out the quarterbacks already on the roster, but even if he is just there for depth, it would be an upgrade. An unpopular upgrade, but an upgrade all the same.
Of course, this is all speculation and contemplation during an uncertain time of the NFL New Year. There are seemingly inexhaustible options available including the young Josh Johnson who could be a great fit for the Jaguars. Besides, sounds like Minnesota is the most likely landing spot.
– Luke N. Sims
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