Let’s take a short break from our look backwards through the 2012 Chiefs season, heading towards the season opener on September 9th. With the opening of OTA’s this week and Matt Cassel’s comments on Sports Radio 610 this week, I wanted to take a look back at the 2011 quarterback rankings. (Warning: I am fully aware that I am guilty of violating my colleague Nicholas Alan Clayton’s first and second bad story ideas. Smoke Signals is a great read this week, and oh so accurate).
This ranking is based on the QB Rating statistic, which may not be the most satisfying ranking system, but it’ll do fine for our purposes today. The top ten quarterbacks are a surprise to no one, with the exception of Alex Smith. They were, in order: Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Matt Schaub, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Smith and Ben Roethlisberger.
The next two deciles are where things get interesting. Just so you have it in front of you, they were:
11. Philip Rivers, Chargers
12. Matt Moore, Fins
13. Jay Cutler, Bears
14. Michael Vick, Eagles
15. Cam Newton, Panthers
16. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans
17. Kevin Kolb, Cardinals
18. Joe Flacco, Ravens
19. Carson Palmer, Raiders
20. Andy Dalton, Bengals
21. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks
22. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
23. Mark Sanchez, Jets
24. Kyle Orton, Broncos/Chiefs
25. Matt Cassel, Chiefs
26. Josh Freeman, Bucs
27. Colt McCoy, Browns
28. Tim Tebow, Broncos
29. Rex Grossman, Redskins
30. Sam Bradford, Rams
Of course, we all aspire to draft a QB who will be a future top-tenner, year after year. Next year’s draft offers several prospects for that. But short of drafting a QB that will become a perennial top-tenner, which requires great scouting and a heck of a lot of luck, here’s my question to you. Of all the non-top ten quarterbacks listed above, who would you be willing to trade Cassel for, if anyone? Let’s say for the purposes of this discussion that anyone ranked 21-30 would be a straight up trade, whereas a QB ranked 11-20 would take Cassel, one current starter and a high pick from next year’s draft.
For me, there’s a few quarterbacks I’d rule out from jump, because of age, performance, lack of potential, likelihood of being injured repeatedly, general boringness and other factors. They include:
- Philip Rivers: too old
- Matt Moore: boringness, not convinced of his potential
- Jay Cutler: injuries, getting up in the years
- Michael Vick: injuries, injuries, injuries
- Matt Hasselbeck: he’s still in the league?
- Kevin Kolb: Kolb is a poor man’s Hasselback
- Carson Palmer: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
- Tarvaris Jackson: how this guy stays in the league is just amazing to me
- Ryan Fitzpatrick: his beard is too long
- Mark Sanchez: the second coming of Kevin Kolb
- Kyle Orton: even trade but Cassel has more experience with our receivers
- Josh Freeman: I just can’t see him re-creating his first great year
- Colt McCoy: nope
- Tim Tebow: puh-lease
- Rex Grossman: Rex is a recipe for frustration and resentment
- Sam Bradford: love him, but he’s been injury prone in college and the NFL
- Cam Newton
- Joe Flacco
- Andy Dalton
Now each of these QB’s is in the 11-20 range, and thus will require one Chiefs starter in the trade as well as a high draft choice. Here are some thoughts on each.
Cam Newton: Cam is going to be a great quarterback. He can throw, run and command the huddle. And he’s young, about to start just his second season. For me, this is a trade that might be worth doing. A Cam deal would demand not just trading a starter, but a damn good one. The Panthers need help on the defensive line, having just drafted Luke Kuechly at linebacker. They want Tamba Hali, plus next year’s first rounder. Ouch. That’s a lot. Would it be worth it?
Joe Flacco: Flacco somehow gets the Ravens to the playoffs, but honestly, I can’t tell if he’s a top-tenner in the waiting, or just a very good game manager who occasionally shines. The Ravens need to restock their stout defense, with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis winding down their incredible careers. Flacco is young with lots of potential. The Ravens will ask for Eric Berry or Derrick Johnson. No way. We offer Justin Houston, plus next year’s first rounder.
Andy Dalton: Dalton’s got promise, but is probably the most iffy trade on this short list. The Bengals need an all-star running back. With Dalton’s Pro-Bowl year and youth, the Bengals ask for Jamaal Charles and a second rounder. Double ouch.
So in summary, our three choices would be:
- Cam Newton for Tamba Hali and a first rounder
- Joe Flacco for Justin Houston and a first rounder
- Andy Dalton for Jamaal Charles and a second rounder
There’s a couple of interesting things here to me. First, there’s literally no one in Cassel’s current decile that I’d do a straight up trade for. Second, there’s always been so many strong opinions about Cassel, both pro and con. But even given the options in the 11-20 crowd, there’s no way I would make the trade of Cassel. Cam would be the one I would consider most seriously, but the price would be too high, losing Tamba and next year’s first rounder in a QB-rich draft.
What do you think, Addicts? Would you make any of these trades, or do a trade with one of the QB’s I left off the short list?!