Top Free Agents of 2013: A Look At Quarterback


kc-chiefs-logoHello Chiefs Nation!  Great time to be a Chiefs fan, with all the wonderful news that we keep receiving on an almost daily basis. On the agenda today is the topic of free agents.  Not Chiefs free agents, but other teams, soon to be free agents.  On March 12, 2013 at 4pm ET, all 2012 contracts will expire.

On March 12, 2013 at 4pm ET, the official free agency period begins as teams can start making those offseason acquisitions.  Some may not remember, but I had previously done a post about the upcoming 2013 Free Agents on the Kansas City Chiefs roster.  The Chiefs will be losing guys come March.  After a disastrous 2-14 season, in which a complete coaching overhaul was made, you can bet some of these future free agents will look elsewhere for signs of life and success with another club.

Many of these soon to be free agents will be hot commodities, such as WR Dwayne Bowe of KC, QB Joe Flacco of Baltimore, QB Jason Campbell of Chicago, OL Andre Smith of Cincinnati, and guys such as S Dashon Goldson of San Francisco.  Many teams will be in pursuit of every player just named, however, there are more players in the free agent pool worth looking at.

Kansas City Chiefs most glaring hole, so big the Nile River could run through it, is the position of QB.  It only makes sense to either, A: Find a veteran QB, B: Draft a QB, or C: Keep the services of Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn.  A few signs point to coach Andy Reid addressing the QB position in free agency and the 2013 NFL Draft.  Here’s why.  Matt Cassel is set to make $9.8 million in 2013.  That is a base salary of $7.5 million and a bonus of $2.3 million.  After Matt Cassel’s horrifying 2012 season, less than productive 2011 season and his sub-par 2009 season, paying him $9.8 million is beyond insane.  Since 2010, Cassels’ only efficient season behind center in KC, he has steadily regressed.  Brady Quinn is only under a one-year deal, so his contract will expire on March 12, 2013.  His 2012 performance was equally as bad as Cassels’, however Brady Quinn had fewer turnovers.  Each started 8 games in 2012.  Each won, 1 game.  So it makes sense to move on from these two players.  So by releasing Cassel, and letting Brady walk, that now opens the door for 2 spots on the depth chart for a QB.  It also opens the door for a future QB who can move the chains by effectively passing the ball with accuracy and some zip behind it.  Who will it, or they be, only time will tell.

Copyright: Dave Skretta
Copyright: Dave Skretta

”I need to find the next Len Dawson, doggone it,” Reid said. ”It might be right here, but it might not. I need to dig in.”

Andy Reid is a master at developing Quarterbacks.  NFL: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City ChiefsCoach Reid says the next starter, or Len Dawson (said loosely and softly), may be right here already?  Who?  At 28 years old, can Brady Quinn be fixed?  Is he talking about the QB who, according to RAC, isn’t mentally there, in Ricki Stanzi?  Or is he referring to the potential diamond in the rough, Alex Tanney?  Irregardless, the team needs a QB, and that QB needs to give the Chiefs fans some hope and promise of brighter days.  No more blackouts, no more bags over the head, no more embarrassment.  No more being the laughingstock of the NFL.

The top quarterbacks hitting the free agent market include Joe Flacco, Jason Campbell, Matt Moore, Tarvaris Jackson, and Drew Stanton.  These are the five that will garner the most attention in March.  A few quarterbacks that are less enigmatic include Troy Smith, A.J. Feeley, Tyler Thigpen (Thiggy), Matt Leinart, and Seneca Wallace.  One does stand out amongst those not listed, and that is Chase Daniel, former QB for the Missouri Tigers, who has been watching, behind Drew Brees since 2009.  So with all the quarterbacks to choose from, with whom do the Chiefs fill their need?  That can be argued for days amongst fans and foes alike.  One mans prized QB is another mans piece of trash QB.

Some quarterbacks will also hit the free agent market due to being released.  Mike Vick of Philly, Matt Cassel of Kansas City, and Ryan Fitzpatrick of Buffalo all seem to fit the bill as having had ample time to get their teams to the promised land, but have failed.  All will be making too much money in 2013 to retain a roster spot for a player who can’t cut it at the starting level.

Joe Flacco is likely to remain in Baltimore.  He’s a starter, decent team, he knows his place.  Baltimore will shore this up by tagging him with the franchise tag, or offering him an extension.  So KC can rule him out.  Why would Flacco be interested in KC anyway?  Mike Vick?  He is Andy Reids boy, so that is a possibility.  Plus Vick is a veteran, and would probably play for pennies on the dollar, just so he could keep playing, and starting.  Vick could be a decent stop gap QB, just to have a veteran on the roster in case the rookie gets injured or the rookie needs a year or two to develop.  Tyler Thigpen used to entertain the crowds at Arrowhead in KC at one point in time.  Although his better days are behind him also.  Jason Campbell is a guy who has had some form of statistical success while in Washington, and is experienced.  He could compete for the starting position if Kansas City decided to draft a QB later than round 1.  Chase Daniel would be an interesting guy to workout.  He has sat behind future HoFer Drew Brees for 3 years.  Surely he’s digested some football intelligence from Drew.  Among the few guys named, and the many other ones on the market, KC will likely have at least 1 veteran QB.  Many don’t see the Chiefs taking the Redskins route and drafting two.  

The 2013 NFL Draft will also be an interesting place to get a quarterback.  Many so called ‘Draft Gurus’ claim that no college QB is worthy of a top pick.  Too often now, are college QBs going to be compared to Andrew Luck and RG3.  Lets take a trip back down memory lane real quick.  When Peyton Manning was drafted, the insiders’, and gurus said that before Manning, John Elway was the most complete QB specimen.  So it has now gone from John Elway (in 1983), to Peyton Manning (1998), and now to Andrew Luck (2012).  So, 29 years, of rating 3 guys as being the purest of specimens to play QB.  At this rate another Andrew Luck type guy will not come around till roughly, 2022.  We can say on average, every 10 years, a pure bred QB comes out of college.  If I’m the coach of the Chiefs, I don’t have that kind of time to wait around before going to the next level.  The Chiefs need a QB yesterday.  The fans need a wildcard spot, a first round bye, they just need the playoffs.  And more importantly they need competitive football, with a signal caller who can get that pigskin down the field.  

Lets take a quick look at the some of the popular names of college QBs and where they may fit.  There is Geno Smith of WVU, whom many claim is the best QB in this class, and will be ready to start winning games on day 1.  His athleticism and overall dedication to the game won’t be matched.  Often called a football nerd for spending so much time in the film room.  Tyler Wilson of Arkansas is a pro ready guy, who has had a successful college career, even with the falling out of former head coach Bobby Petrino.  Mike Glennon of North Carolina State may be ready on day 1.  Mike Glennon is a statue in the pocket, so it will be interesting to see where he lands in the draft, and the coach that grooms him.  He does have great size and a cannon for an arm, your prototypical NFL QB.  Matt Barkley, USC, intelligent guy, should be ready immediately.  Many question his arm, and his size (even though he’s listed as 6’2″), but with Russel Wilsons’ play in the NFL, many will look at Matt based on intellect, decisions, and ability to read defense alone.  Matt has had a successful college career, but his stock dropped significantly this season.  EJ Manuel from Florida State is another good college QB.  He’s big at 6’5″ and is listed as a beefy 245lbs.  Not to mention runs a 4.5 40 yard dash.  He’s smart, good size, and can win.  A couple question marks are his arm strength (At 6’5″ and 245lbs, he should have a rocket launcher) and accuracy.  

Others good college QB worth mentioning are Ryan Nassib of Syracuse, Zac Dysert of Miami (Ohio), and Derrick Carr of Fresno State.

The Kansas City Chiefs probably need to take some serious looks into a couple of these guys listed.  Geno Smith, Tyler Wilson, Matt Barkley, and Mike Glennon, all may very well be gone in the first.  If coach Andy Reid is interested in a QB in the second round, EJ Manuel would be the guy to check out.  Even Mike Glennon, if he was still available.  Ryan Nassib would be a potential candidate also, but a very long reach in the early stages of the second round.  

It is very safe to say that in 2013, when camp opens the Kansas City Chiefs will have a new, veteran QB, and a 1st or 2nd rd rookie QB, along with possibly, Stanzi and Tanney, assuming Stanzi and Tanney don’t get released.

So from here on out, it is up to Andy Reid, the unknown GM, and the non-existent coaching staff, to develop, motivate, and mold the men that will be on the roster for training camp and beyond.  Our Chiefs, and the future of the 2013 season, rest, on the hands, minds, and abilities, of the coaches and players.

What do you think the Chiefs should do?  Sign a veteran?  Draft? Trade back and stockpile picks in hopes of a more gifted college QB next year?  Let us know!



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