Kansas City Chiefs Make Offer to Peyton Manning; What About Matt Cassel?
Romeo Crennel came out during the NFL Combine and said he’d be crazy not to consider Manning were he a free agent, flirting with tampering charges in the process. Now it appears the Chiefs look like they’re taking that consideration a step farther.
Bringing Manning to Kansas City would likely be the final piece to an that offense boasts a solid receiver corps, a top flight tight end coming back from injury and one of the best running backs in the league.
Add in the likelihood of the Chiefs drafting an offensive lineman with the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft and you have the perfect storm for Manning to launch a comeback and last hurrah to his Hall of Fame career.
Should the Chiefs actually sign Manning, it will send two very important messages, both to fans and to the league.
First, it says Kansas City believes it’s ready to win the Super Bowl now. Should Manning be healthy enough to play even at 70% of his former ability, the Chiefs should go ahead and clear their calendars for next January. The only question mark would be the right tackle position, where defenders could take the Barry Richardson Express Lane to hammer the quarterback. If Kansas City patches that hole to keep Manning on his feet, a deep playoff run should be in easy grasp.
Second and most importantly, though, signing Manning shows the Chiefs have definitively given up on Matt Cassel.
No team can bring in a Hall of Fame quarterback and not start him. By that same token, no team can unseat their incumbent 29-year old starter and tell him he’ll be their starter again soon.
Bottom line, Cassel will either become the highest paid backup quarterback in the league, or he’ll find a new team to play for in 2012.
Cassel will have a difficult time finding another starting opportunity should he leave Kansas City, though. His best chance would likely be in Seattle where his former USC coach Pete Carroll could use a serious upgrade under center.
But then, he didn’t start Cassel at USC either.
The Chiefs brought Cassel to Kansas City in hopes that he’d grown into his new team and solidify the position much like Trent Green last decade.
Instead, Cassel only produced one solid season sandwiched between a pair of miserable ones. The dysfunction that came with Todd Haley and his revolving door of offensive coordinators deserves most of the credit.
But even in 2010, Cassel only performed well enough to lose in the playoffs. In this era where only quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers win Super Bowls, Cassel just doesn’t measure up.
Peyton Manning does, so long as he’s healthy and the Chiefs keep him that way.
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