The selection of Aaron Murray in the fifth round of this year’s NFL Draft has created a crowd at the quarterback position for the Kansas City Chiefs. The team now has Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray and Murray. One of those four will be the odd man out in the near future, and it definitely shouldn’t be Daniel.
He is by far the best insurance policy for the Chiefs if an injury to Smith were to happen. Bray and Murray are both developmental projects at this point. A team does not need more than one of those. The coaching staff needs to decide which one has the most promise and cut the other one loose.
Kansas City would save $1.4 million if they were to release Daniel, and that just isn’t anywhere close to enough to make it worth cutting him. The backup quarterback is an insurance policy first, and a place to groom prospects second. Daniel easily gives the Chiefs the best chance to win out of the reserves at this point.
We haven’t seen a lot of action from him with the starters, but we do know he can move the ball on the road against a San Diego Chargers team that was fighting for its playoff life, with primarily backups surrounding him. Week 17 of the 2013 season was very telling, and it raised some questions concerning what Daniel would be capable of with the starters and some first-team reps.
He spent three years with the New Orleans Saints learning under Drew Brees, and seeing what he could do with a real chance would be just as exciting as watching Murray or Bray. What we’ve seen thus far from Daniel garners some comparisons to Smith. He’s accurate, intelligent and deceptively mobile. Dropping him would be a huge risk the Chiefs don’t need to take.
The possibilities of young quarterbacks are always exciting to think about, but if Smith goes down, Kansas City will pay for it big-time if Daniel isn’t there. This goes for the 2015 season as well. The Chiefs would save $3.3 million against the 2015 cap if Daniel were cut, and it would still be foolish for them to do so.
We don’t often think about how important backup quarterbacks are until teams need them. A quality insurance policy at the most important position in football is worth a few extra dollars, and Daniel is definitely a quality backup.