The Chiefs have Cassel, Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi at quarterback, making it one of the thinnest positions on their roster. Cassel missed the last half of last season because of a broken hand and is still trying to establish himself as a dependable NFL starter. Quinn is a former first-round pick, but the Broncos thought so little of him that he didn’t play in a game in his two seasons in Denver. Stanzi was a fifth-round draft pick last year and didn’t play as a rookie.
Because their roster is so complete, the Chiefs believe they have built a team that can reasonably compete for the AFC West championship for the foreseeable future. If that vision comes true, they won’t be in position again to draft a franchise-type quarterback for years.
All of that makes for a perfect storm when it comes to drafting a quarterback, and the Chiefs appear to be at least examining the possibility. They met with Tannehill at the combine and he said he had a private workout for them last week.
“He has everything you look for,” ESPN analyst Todd McShay said recently. “He belongs in the top 10 and has a chance to be an elite quarterback in the NFL.
The Chiefs haven’t seemed sold on Cassel during the offseason. At the least, they’re giving off mixed signals.
“That consistency … I think that’s the biggest thing with Matt,” Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. “I think he’s excited about this year, about having Brian Daboll as our offensive coordinator, because he knows Brian and he knows the system Brian brings, and I’ve talked to Matt several times in the offseason and … he’s ready to go to work. He can’t wait for April 16th (start of the Chiefs’ offseason program) to get here so he can start getting into the playbook.
“If he can develop that consistency like we had part of the time in 2010, where we weren’t turning the ball over — we were moving the ball offensively and we were scoring some points — if we can get back to that, that’s what I’m looking for from him.”
The Chiefs started the offseason by saying they intended to find competition for Cassel, then watched as their best possibility for that, Kyle Orton, left as a free-agent for Dallas, where he will back up Tony Romo.
They settled instead for Quinn, but there’s still room for another quarterback, particularly one with Tannehill’s potential.