Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not Bad For a Year's Work

Today the Kansas City Chiefs announced that they signed QB Matt Cassel to a six-year contract that will pay him $28 million in guaranteed money, and $63 million over the life of the deal. That $10.5 million dollar average would have ranked 7th among quarterbacks in 2008. That is pretty insane when you figure that Matt Cassel has started just 15 games in his NFL career. Before last season Matt Cassel would have been lucky to get $10.5 million over 6 years, now he will be cashing that check each season. Is he worth this much of an investment?

Now a Chiefs defender or Matt Cassel supporter will talk about the big money that Aaron Rodgers gets and that his situation is similar to Cassels. There is some truth to that argument. Both quarterbacks had limited playing opportunities given the Hall of Fame quarterback playing in front of them. Also, both are young (though Rodgers is a year and a half younger) and entering the prime of their careers. While both those points are true, the argument fails to realize that Rodgers is a better quarterback than Cassel, either in the short or long term. Rodgers has a better pedigree, he was a first round draft pick, that was always considered a starting caliber quarterback. Also, he has the stronger arm, and seems to be more comfortable making all the various throws. Cassel excelled in a system that he had been in for years, and succeeded primarily out of the shotgun. The Patriots offensive system set just about every passing record the year before, giving Cassel more weapons to utilize. I think its hard to argue that Cassel is worth the kind of money that Rodgers is making.

Now I do recognize that the Chiefs were in a bit of a corner with the Patriots designating Cassel as a "Franchise" player. This raised the price on Cassel considerably. Had Cassel been on the open market he may have gotten a $6-8 million dollar average but he wouldn't have gotten much more than that. Kansas City is now paying him like he is a top notch QB, and that seems to be a gross exaggeration of his skills. There are easily 12-15 quarterbacks I'd rather have leading my team over the next 6 years than Cassel. That doesn't even count guys like Warner or Delhomme who are better options over the next few years as well. Kansas City is paying more than most of those guys, like he is a true "Franchise quarterback". Given the limited track record of Cassel, this was a big risk for the Chiefs to take. I think in the long run, Cassel will prove to be a solid starter, but not a $10 million dollar man. The Chiefs will pay for this mistake for years to come.

1 comment:

  1. I think, when comparing Cassel and Rogers, the biggest point to be made is Cassel's surrounding cast last year. I mean, he had an undefeated patriots team to work with. Rogers had a good team himself, but I don't think they really compare.