Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford
It is too early to deem the Matt Cassel trade a failure, but last season was further indication that Cassel needs to improve—and quickly.
The Chiefs and former Patriots VP Scott Pioli spent $63 million on Cassel, hoping he would duplicate the surprisingly good performance he showed filling in for the injured Tom Brady in 2008. Last season, however, Cassel's inexperience was more evident than ever. With a touchdown-interception ratio of 16-16, a pass completion percentage of 55 percent (27th in the NFL), and a YPP of 5.93 (30th), Cassel had the exact opposite season the Chiefs were hoping for.
Granted, Cassel's offensive line was not what anyone would call "stellar," and he had little to no receiving help with the exception of Chris Chambers and Dwayne Bowe, but this season he should have less room for excuses. If the Chiefs find themselves picking in the top five for the fourth consecutive season, extreme changes will be made.
Matt Cassel could realistically be cut to save the $7.5 million dollar option he will be owed, which would leave Kansas City without a true quarterback. Andrew Luck is young but already pro-ready, and he is primed for a big jump in production this season.
Even if Kansas City hangs on to Cassel, the idea of taking a quarterback to challenge him must be at the very least considered.