Kansas City Chiefs: Breaking Down Five Quarterback Candidates

Soven Bery@@realsovenberySenior Analyst IJanuary 12, 2013

Kansas City Chiefs: Breaking Down Five Quarterback Candidates

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    The Kansas City Chiefs officially have a mess at the quarterback position. 

    They haven’t been able to find an NFL signal caller that can win games, despite the fact that they have talent at receiver and one of the most prolific backfields in the league.

    The search is on for a new quarterback in Kansas City this offseason. Head coach Andy Reid and the front office have their work cut out for them in the upcoming months.

    They must find a player who can get this squad back in playoff contention and out of the AFC West cellar.

    Clearly, Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel didn’t cut it this season, as they combined throw more interceptions than touchdowns this season.

    So, let’s take a look at five quarterbacks who might be lining up under center next year for Kansas City next season:

Matt Flynn

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    Flynn wants to be a starting quarterback in the NFL after finishing runner-up to a rookie third-round pick in the battle for the jobs as Seahawks' starting quarterback last year.

    He will not get that opportunity in Seattle, backing up said phenom, who is taking the NFL by storm. Unless Russell Wilson blows out his knee, the second-string signal caller will remain with clipboard-in-hand. 

    Obviously, this is not ideal for Flynn and he would want out. With so many injuries at the quarterback position, having good insurance at quarterback is proving for teams in serious contention and the the package might be too steep for the Chiefs to pry him off the trade block in Seattle. 

    But, it might be worth it. 

    The jury is still out on the former-Green Bay Packer, as his body of work isn’t substantial enough to make a sound decision. 

    Of course, Flynn will always have that magical game against the Detroit Lions last season where he threw for 480 yards and an outstanding six touchdowns on 31 of 44 passing with a quarterback rating of 136.4 in a 45-41 win. 

    However, is that enough for the Chiefs to pull the trigger? 

Geno Smith

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    I am firmly in the school of thought that Kansas City shouldn’t waste the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft on Smith and rather go with the best player available and a proven commodity. 

    That being said, I understand the pull for drafting Smith and if owner Clark Hunt believes that the rookie can lead this team to success, it makes sense.

    The West Virginia Mountaineer quarterback struggled some last season, culminating in a poor performance at the Pinstripe Bowl against Syracuse. Is he still considered to be the best quarterback in this year’s thin quarterback crop?

    The Combine and months leading up to the draft will serve to either prove or dispel that notion. 

    While West Virginia started off hot, they seemed to cool down in the middle of the season losing five straight games at one point. 

    But, Smith still enjoyed a pretty nice season. He completed 369 passes on 518 attempts with a completion rate of 71.2 percent, good for second in D-1. His 4,205 yards was third in college football and his 42 touchdowns was tops.

    He threw just six interceptions and finished with a 163.9 quarterback rating. 

    Smith is a dual threat and Andy Reid has been known as a quarterback guru, but is Geno the face of future for this franchise? 

Alex Smith

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    Smith is in the same boat (and division) as Flynn. After having his job stolen by the upstart Colin Kaepernick, Smith can only hope he struggles in the playoffs and Jim Harbaugh second-guesses his mid-season switch.

    However, that is unlikely to happen. So, this offseason, the former first overall pick will probably be looking for a trade out of San Francisco.  

    There will be many teams vying for his services, as Smith is a proven winner. That is because he was actually enjoying a very good season before he went down with injury in Week 10 and a leader in 2011 'Niners offense, a squad that went 13-3.

    Smith was averaging 192.3 yards per game, through nine contests. He had a completion percentage of 70.2 percent with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. He had a 107.5 quarterback rating and was one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL bringing the 49ers to a 6-2-1 record. 

    Did I mention that he was one unlucky bounce away from the Super Bowl last year? 

    This is a man that can win and be serviceable for Kansas City, but what will his asking price be? 

Tim Tebow

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    Speaking of quarterbacks who are proven winners, what about Tim Tebow?

    This might rub some Chiefs fans the wrong way, but the Florida product is a legitimate quarterback in the NFL. His second-to-last start at quarterback was a playoff win against the Steelers, in which he continually made big plays in the passing game, capping his performance with an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime.

    Kansas City ranked 25th in attendance this season with only 89.3 performance of Arrowhead Stadium full on Sundays. That isn’t horrible, but it can be improved and Tebow is the man to do it. 

    Is it crazy to propose that Kansas City drafts the best player available, picks up the former New York Jet and then waits for the next draft which features a more highly touted quarterback class? 

    They would gain revenue through tickets and jersey sales and, as was the case with the Broncos, maybe even increase their win total.

    Tebow and Jamaal Charles would also boost an incredible running game that might be unmatched in the whole league. Reid has worked with the similar Michael Vick in the past to some success and Tebow has proved he can be effective. 

    Last season in Denver, he took a struggling team to the second round of the postseason before serving as a backup all season with the Jets.

    I’m not one of the ringleaders in the media circus that may come with Tebow, but this plan could work. Reid is known for being great with quarterbacks and, at the worst, Kansas City gains money and picks up Logan Thomas, Tyler Bray, Teddy Bridgewater, Aaron Murray, Tajh Boyd, A.J. McCarron or David Fales via the draft.

    Whether or not Chiefs nation would embrace the hype that comes with Tebow is another uncertainty.

Matt Cassel

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    I know for a fact that Chiefs fans would not embrace another season of Cassel behind center.

    Cassel has done everything in his power to prove that he cannot be a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL and does not deserve another shot in Kansas City.

    In nine games this season, Cassel threw for 1,796 yards with six touchdowns and 12 interceptions on a 58.1 percent completion rate. He has never come close to reaching his level of play in 2008 for New England, when Tom Brady suffered a season-ending injury.

    The Chiefs general manager would be crazy to keep Cassel after his performance during his tenure with the Chiefs.

    Kansas City managed the worst record in the NFL at 2-14, with five Pro Bowlers on the roster. They fired the head coach and the general manager. 

    At some point, the blame has to fall on the underachieving quarterback. 

    Cassel didn’t play all season due to injury, but didn’t convince anyone he could win when he lined up under center. 

    This would be a horrible option for the team and they shouldn’t take the Cassel route again. 

    But, will the Kansas City Chiefs find a viable new quarterback?