Picture this guy in a red helmet and all those glorious colors in the stands behind him representing Chiefs nation. I know I know. As soon as the laughter and/or ecstasy simmers down hear me out.
I am absolutely mind blown, as are a great many elite NFL columnists right now, by the way the New Orleans Saints are handling Drew Brees contract negotiations. Here is their entire franchise, wrapped up in one shiny black and gold uniform, fresh off a ridiculous record setting season, unsigned to the long term deal he seeks with less than 5 days before the July 16 deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long term extensions. And Brees doesn’t appear ready to flinch one bit. Reports say he’s wiling to sit out into camp, and perhaps into the season. I don’t personally believe that he won’t be flinging the rock come Week 1 at home against RGIII and the new look Redskins, (or Week 3 when Romeo and the boys storm into the Superdome), but dream with me for a few glorious minutes.
Before last April’s NFL Draft, red and gold maniacs everywhere were salivating about the prospect of Pioli finding a way to lure the great #18 into the friendly confines of the loudest and most electric NFL stadium (all due respect Lambeau) in the league. I say this not just because he signed with the Mile High Club, but frankly I’m glad he’s in Denver. Reason is simply because I don’t think he will make it through the entire season healthy. That statement would still reign true had he signed with the Chiefs, or any other team for that matter. And we all know the success Romeo had against Peyton as a DC in New England. As a result, Chiefs nation embraces the start of the upcoming season with what appears to be one of the best rosters in the NFL, absent of the most important spot on the field, QB. Enter the dream of #9 trading in his black jersey for a red one in 2013.
I will include this disclaimer; I think Cassel will be ready to prove to his critics the insane contract he inked prior to the 2009 season wasn’t a complete waste of Clark’s money. However, he won’t be putting up any flashy numbers this year despite likely having Bowe in a contract year (if Pioli doesn’t serve up a contract before next Monday), an upcoming beast of a talent on the other side in Baldwin, a healthy Moeaki stretching the defense, THE #25 Charles in Charge back and hungry as hell as well as a damn good offensive line. Not to mention the Hillis battering ram, which, we all agree, is a substantial upgrade to Thomas Jones. Incoming Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll and staff are going to run the skin off the ball this year. We all know this. Pair that strategy with what will be a top 10 defense and the result will be the 2012 Chiefs getting back to a style of play we grew all to familiar with when that guy named Marty was around. So here starts the cry for why Drew Brees would literally make all the difference in the world; I for one don’t believe even a top rushing attack and wicked defense will be enough for KC to hint at revisiting a coveted Super Bowl berth. With exception to the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, who arguably had one of if not the best single season defenses in the history of the game with a conservative, playmaking at times, mistake-free QB in Trent Dilfer, you simply can’t win without an exceptional top 10 QB in this league.
We don’t have to compare the career numbers of #7 and #9 to understand why having a top 5 QB on this Kansas City roster in 2013 would put us close to if not at the summit. But let’s have a little fun here. In 7 seasons (4 as a starter, 3 with us), #7 has a 59.6 comp %, averaging 6.6 yards per, 169.6 yards per game, with 76 TD’s to 45 INT’s and a QB rating of 82.5. Conversely #9 in 11 seasons (5 with the Chargers and 6 with NO), has a 65.9 comp %, averaging 7.4 yards per, 264.6 yards per game, with 281 TD’s to 146 INT’s and a QB rating of 94.0. As if QB’s are anything like fine wine, Drew has only gotten better with age posting career numbers last year in completion % at 71.2, total yards blowing away Marino’s record with 5,476, yards per game at 342.2, TD’s with 46 and my favorite, QB rating at 110.6.
So will Drew Brees play under the franchise tag this year and have the potential to be traded in the 2012 offseason? One could only dream, but of course logic says there’s no shot. But why then is New Orleans dragging their feet here? Aren’t they only about $1-2M off in annual salary? It doesn’t do much for the mindset of any player in that Saints locker room coming into free agency to think if their front office can’t get a deal done with their franchise player, chances of them getting their ideal contract inked is slim to none. This Saints team without Drew Brees would be a 5 win team at best, and that’s with Sean Payton on the sidelines. A 2013 Chiefs team with Drew Brees under center means our boys from the land of BBQ would likely be a heavy favorite to represent the AFC in next year’s big game. Yes New England, Baltimore and Denver, you know this to be true. So what do you think Addicts? Does Brees have a shot at becoming the 2nd top 5 QB to hit the trading block in as many years? If so, what would it take from Pioli and Hunt to add #9 to our young and widely talented Chiefs roster in 2013?