2013 New Orleans Saints: Where Will Chase Daniel End Up Next Year?
That question might have been easily answered with a resounding "Yes!", but after the latest craze to sweep the NFL, the pistol offense, the question might not be "Will they keep him?" but "Can they keep him?" (I am not calling Daniel the second coming of RGIII, but he is mobile enough to run that offense well.)
He has been groomed by Sean Payton and Pete Carmichael, two people who are paramount in Brees' journey to Hall of Fame status. Another thing he has going for him is the weak crop of quarterbacks that are coming out this year in the draft.
Personally, I don't see Daniel ever being anything more than a backup in this league, but teams are always willing to go after backups who have sat and learned from offensive geniuses (Matt Flynn ring a bell? Don't blame him for Russell Wilson blowing up.).
Anything's possible, and let's see what his options could be out there in free agency.
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The walrus, Andy Reid, is in town, and reshaping the quarterback depth will be his top priority, especially since the incumbents will soon be the departed.
Brady Quinn is a free agent who is not expected back. Matt Cassel still has two years left on his contract that calls for him to make $7.5 million in 2013 and $9 million in 2014. If you do the math, it looks like Kansas City will be subtracting Cassel from its roster.
This destination for Daniel will all depend on if Reid sees Geno Smith as his next Donovan McNabb, because if he doesn't, this could be the most logical landing place. (Reid not picking Smith isn't far-fetched. His Philadelphia Eagles teams usually went along the defensive/offensive lines in the first round, outside of McNabb.)
With Daniel on the roster, Kansas City could use its first pick on offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, and that would be a huge boost to an offense that already includes Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster.
His being a huge college star in that state will add a big boost to a fanbase that hasn't had much to smile about lately.
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You know the old saying, "When you start four quarterbacks, you're screwed."
Arizona went from Kevin Kolb to John Skelton to Ryan Lindley to Brian Hoyer this season, and not one of them had a QBR higher than 38. On top of that, Kolb's base salary bumps up from $1 million to $9 million next season.
With the coaching change, I don't see any way Kolb is back on the roster with that kind of financial burden.
Daniel is good enough to start immediately, ahead of Lindley and Skelton, and could actually help people remember about Larry Fitzgerald.
This is a veteran team, so I don't see it taking a quarterback in the first round. Daniel's experience could help Arizona's offense hold up its end of the bargain in 2013, because that defense is good, but it can't be abused for a second year in a row.
Back with the Saints
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The Saints could see Daniel as too valuable an asset as insurance for the $100 million man and not be willing to let him go so easily.
They might not even let him hit the free-agent market if that's the front office's view.
He made $700,000 last year, and if he could accept a modest raise of about $2 million per year, I could see bringing him back. Anything more than that, I would let him walk and try to find a starting opportunity.
It's hard to read what Daniel is planning on doing, but he is a fierce competitor, and I can see him wanting to tackle a chance to run his own team. Even though he really would rather that opportunity happen in New Orleans.
But we all know that that's not happening anytime soon, especially not in 2013.