After rising to prominence as the successful backup to an injured Tom Brady in 2008, Matt Cassel is once again a backup quarterback. Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel today announced that Brady Quinn will be the starting quarterback going forward. Quinn started his first game in three years earlier this month against Tampa Bay after Cassel was ruled out following a concussion sustained in week 4.
Cassel has struggled as a Chief, especially so this season. In five games he started this year, he had 9 interceptions and 4 fumbles to 5 touchdowns. Cassel did have a career season in 2010 and led the Chiefs to the AFC West title, but lost in the first playoff game. Fans, frustrated with the Chiefs 1-5 start, have been clamoring for a quarterback change for several weeks. On paper, Quinn doesn’t appear to be a much better choice, but maybe he is what the team needs to get their momentum back.
Benching Cassel is a rather costly move; the Chiefs initially signed Cassel to a six-year, $63 million contract in 2009. That’s quite a bit of money for a man believed to be the only quarterback in NFL history to start an NFL game without starting a game in college. At USC he served as the backup to Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
Only time will tell if this decision was the right one to make, but it’s clear that the Chiefs need to change something if they want to win.